If you have been convicted of a crime, it will show up on your criminal record and this makes it hard to get a job and to do other things that people without records enjoy doing. A lot of people in this situation seek to have the charges expunged, in the hope that the damaging information is not accessible for public viewing. Having records expunged is available in a limited set of circumstances, so it is necessary to understand when you can make the request and what the result of a successful expungement case means for you.
Under Florida law you have to be able to show that even though you were arrested, no charges were filed or that a not guilty verdict was entered. It is also possible to seek an expungement if the charges against you were eventually dismissed. Any of these three things will permit you to seek an expungement of your record, but an expungement is not the same as having your record sealed. The one major difference between the two is that in an expungement actually eliminates any reference to the case, but sealing a record makes it impossible to view by the general public. Other important things to know about these methods of cleaning up your record include:
- Only certain types of charges may be expunged from your record.
- Even if you are successful in keeping damaging information off of your record and out of the public eye, certain law enforcement agencies and officials may still have access to the information.
- You are limited in the number of times you can have a record expunged.
If you are seeking to have an arrest expunged for the purpose of getting a job, renting an apartment, applying to school, or are seeking a certain type of license, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney to make sure the result will be the one you want. If you are not eligible for an expungement, going through the process can leave you dissatisfied. Call our office for a review of your case and to learn more about expungement and sealing of records.
If you have questions about expunging or sealing charges, call our office for answers. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.