« on: December 03, 2011, 09:14:37 PM »
Generally speaking expungement does not grant some sort of privacy right. In the context of moral fitness to practice law, it is still relevant:
"We are aware that his requirement [to make a full disclosure of any charges made against him] calls for a high degree of frankness and truthfulness on the part of the attorney making application for admission to practice law in this state, but no good reason presents itself why such a high standard of integrity should not be required."
Spears v. State Bar, 211 Cal. 183, 187 (1930)
Of the forty states that allow expungement or sealing of arrests not leading to conviction, twenty-nine permit an individual to deny the arrest. Of the sixteen states that allow expungement or sealing of convictions, thirteen permit an individual to deny the conviction. Ben Geiger, The Case for Treating Ex-Offenders as a Suspect Class, 94 Cal. L. Rev. 1191, 1200 (2006).
My understanding is that not all expungements are equal, depends on the state and court. I am sure some applicants do deny the conviction and suffer no consequences.
So a lot depends on the states involved and local practices. I am not aware of any law though that prevents someone from asking about an expungement.