Having a criminal record can have a negative impact on your life. You might be turned down for a job, to rent an apartment, or when applying to certain schools or for loans. These things can make it hard for you to be productive, and to support yourself. But, in certain instances you can ask for the notation that you have been charged with a crime to be removed from your record, and doing so will give you the clean record you need.
The rules for expunging a record, under Florida law require the following three things:
- There was an arrest, but no charges were ever filed against you. This might happen if there is insufficient evidence to make the charges “stick”, or you successfully have damaging evidence held out in the case.
- If charges were filed against you, they were late dismissed. This most often happens when you agree to a term of probation, and successfully complete that probationary terms.
- If charges were filed but not dismissed, you can seek an expungement of the notation if you were found not guilty of the charge. The way to obtain a not guilty verdict is generally through trial, either to a jury or to the Judge.
The benefit of having a criminal charge expunged is that the information about the arrest and the charge are no longer visible on your record, to the general public. This means that if you are applying for a job, a loan, or to get into school there will be no record of the charges against you. While this is hugely beneficial to most people, it is important to keep in mind that there will still be instances where the arrest is visible. Certain law enforcement officials will always have access to the information, and if you are applying for a job within certain governmental agencies the information will be visible. So, before you take steps to have an arrest record expunged, call our office to find out if doing so will get the results you need. We have experience helping people make the right choice for their circumstances, and can help you too!
If you have questions about expunging an arrest or criminal record, 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.