Having a criminal record can cause you to miss out on a job opportunity, make it hard to get into school, or might even prevent you from being able to rent a car. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, there are things you can do to after the fact to keep your record clean. But not every case is right for an expungement of the record, so before you dive in and ask the Court to seal your record, you should take the steps necessary to determine if you qualify. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help.
Three circumstances that allow you to clear your record under Florida law include the following:
- A dismissal of the charges filed against you. If you were charged, but those charges were later dropped you can ask that your record be cleared of the charges.
- If you were arrested, but charges were never filed you can ask that the arrest record be removed from your history.
- A not guilty verdict will also qualify you for an expungement of the charges from your record. This usually requires you to go to trial, and then have a judge or jury enter a not guilty verdict in the case.
An expungement will clear your record of the charges from public viewing. This is helpful if you are applying for a job and the potential employer plans on doing a background check. But an instance where expungement will not benefit you is if you are seeking a position within a governmental or police agency, because those entities could still have access to your pre-expungement record. So, not only do you have to meet one of the above criteria in order to be eligible for an expungement, but you should also think about the reason you are seeking an expungement before you take action. If the end result is not going to be what you need, you might want to reconsider your decision. For help making the right choice, call one of our knowledgeable record sealing and expungement attorneys today to find out more.
For answers to questions about how to clear your record, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.