Expungement refers to a process by which a previous record of criminal activity or record as to a specific conviction(s) is erased, destroyed or obliterated. Generally, federal law does not provide for expungement of a criminal conviction as a matter of statutory right. There is some authority that courts retain the equitable power to order an expungement, but only in extreme circumstances, such as with respect to an illegal conviction, a conviction under statute later deemed unconstitutional or a conviction that was obtained by way of government misconduct.