Criminal Conviction Set-Aside Self-Help Forms

In Nebraska, a criminal conviction cannot be “erased” or “expunged.” It can be “pardoned” or “set-aside,” but it will not be erased. Once there is a conviction on your record, it always will be on your record.

 A “pardon” is a formal forgiveness granted by the Governor. A “set-aside” is a decision made by the judge who heard your criminal case. If that judge grants your request, your conviction will be “nullified.” The self-help resources on this page pertain only to set-asides, and not to pardons. If you are seeking a pardon, please visit the Board of Pardons’ website for more information and for a pardon application form:

Criminal convictions can affect your ability to get a job. Both a pardon and set-aside might reduce the impact of a criminal conviction.


A set-aside is a judge’s decision that nullifies a criminal conviction. As part of the decision to set aside a criminal conviction, a judge must believe that it is in your best interests to do so and that setting aside the conviction is “consistent with the public welfare.” The decision is discretionary, which means it totally is up to the judge.

The set-aside does not erase a criminal record. The order setting aside the conviction is added to the criminal record. A potential employer doing a criminal background check will see the conviction and the addition of the order setting aside your convictions.For more information about setting aside a criminal convictions please read Instructions for Setting Aside a Criminal Conviction.

In order to complete the criminal conviction set-aside forms, you will need:

  • a copy of the court information for the conviction you want the court to set aside
  • the court information for all convictions you have had since the conviction you want set aside happened

You can get a copy of your criminal history from any local courthouse.  The state of Nebraska has a database for all court records call JUSTICE.  You will need a JUSTICE print out for the conviction you want set aside and all conviction after the conviction you want set aside. Ask a clerk at your courthouse to print out your criminal case history information.  You will need information for the conviction you want set aside and all convictions entered against you since that them. There may be a fee for these documents.

If you have a number of criminal charges, before you ask a clerk of court for help you many want to get a copy of your entire record from the Nebraska State Patrol.  Although you have to pay for this information, it will have your entire criminal history as well as the disposition of each charge, i.e., whether you were sentenced to jail or probation and/or a fine.  You then can ask the local clerk of court to print out the specific convictions: the one you want set aside and all conviction after that one.

Set Asides: Misdemeanor and Felony Automated Court Forms  This link directs you to to a complete set of automated, court-approved forms needed to request a set aside.

Legal Aid of Nebraska