Having a clean criminal record does more than just help you get a job, it can also help with small things like paying less for car insurance or renting a house. If you have been arrested and are worried about the impact it has on your future, we want you to know your options. There are instances where you can ask the Court to clear the charges from your record, and doing so can be beneficial in a number of ways.
Florida law provides for a process called expungement, which is sort of like sealing your criminal record. The end result is that in certain cases the notation of the arrest and charges will be removed from your record, making it impossible for a person performing a public search to see the information. If you were arrested but no charges were ever filed, you can ask that the arrest record be expunged. Likewise, if you were arrested but the charges were dismissed you can also seek an order of expungement. And, if you were arrested and eventually found not guilty or were successful while on probation, expungement might work for you. Three good reasons to have your record cleared are:
- If the offense is traffic related, an expungement can keep points off of your driving record.
- An expungement will help keep a potential employer from finding out about an arrest if having a background check is part of the hiring process. The same is true for admission to school, or when applying for certain licenses.
- You are able to say that you have not been arrested, if the arrest record is expunged. This question is asked on a lot of applications, sometimes even for something like renting a car.
One word of caution though, some law enforcement and governmental agencies will still have access to the information. So if you are applying for a government job, it is best to be honest when asked if you’ve been arrested because the data can be found. If you are thinking about asking for records to be expunged, call us to learn if this procedure will work for you.
If you have questions about how to clear your criminal record, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Call today to schedule an appointment.