If you have been arrested and charged with a crime it is important to take the steps necessary to minimize the impact the arrest has on your criminal record. Once you have a criminal record certain things in life become more difficult. People with long rap sheets are less likely to be able to find a job, rent an apartment, or apply to school. This can leave you with very few options for your future, so if you can have the charges against you dropped or cleared from your record, you should. But before you start, it is important to understand certain legal terms, so you know what type of relief to seek.
There are two ways to have charges against you “disappear”. The first is if you are successful in your defense and the case against you gets dismissed. The second option is to ask the Court to expunge your record. An expungement is not the same as a dismissal, because with a dismissal the information still shows up on your record. Anyone with the ability to view your record will see what the charge was, and that it was dismissed. While this is helpful because there is no conviction against you, the original charge does still show up and this can be harmful in certain circumstances. But with an expungement, you get the benefit of the following:
- The original charge is no longer shown on your record.
- Without the notation of what you were charged with, it is not possible for most people to dig deeper and find out if you have ever been arrested for a certain crime.
The absence of any notation of an arrest is good because it can look like the incident never took place. This comes in handy when you are looking to take certain jobs, or to get into a good school. But be careful, some agencies will still have access to your records, so before you take the time to ask for an expungement spend some time with one of our knowledgeable defense attorneys to find out how it will work for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment to go over your case, and learn which options make the most sense for your situation.
If you have questions about expungement, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.