Having a clean criminal record can help you get into school, get a job, rent an apartment, and can also help keep your auto insurance rates low. But if you have a rap sheet that follows you around wherever you go, doing these things becomes more difficult. Not only can it be hard to apply for certain jobs and licenses, but if you have a criminal record you will probably be subjected to intense questioning at even a routine traffic stop. In order to avoid these hassles, you should take the steps required to clear your record if you are eligible to do so.
Florida law allows for an expungement of criminal charges in certain circumstances. Three things to check for if you are interested in having your record expunged are:
- You were arrested, but no charges were ever filed. If that is the case then you can ask the Court to enter an order of expungement, and any reference to the arrest will become invisible to the average person performing a search.
- You were arrested and charges were filed, but you were ultimately found not guilty.
- You were arrested and charged, but the charges filed against you ended up getting dismissed. This can happen if you make just the right deal with the prosecution when negotiating terms of probation for your case. In fact, it is common to agree to go on probation for a period of time in exchange for a dismissal of the charges against you upon a successful completion of the probation.
Keep in mind you will not need to show all three of these things, and doing so would not be possible in any event. Expungement of charges offers many people a clean slate, but it is important to understand the limitations of this procedure. Certain law enforcement agencies will still be able to see the information, even it if is expunged. What this means is that if you are considering asking the Court to expunge your record, you first learn whether the outcome will help you. For instance, if you are going to apply for a governmental job, an expungement may not necessarily keep your potential employer from seeing your record. Before you take this step, let us look over the facts of your case and let you know if it is right for you. Call us today to learn for a review of your case as it relates to having charges expunged.
If you need help clearing your criminal record, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.