Sealing/Expungement of Criminal Records
Florida Criminal Records Sealed or Expunged
If you have gone through the criminal justice system as an arrestee or a defendant in Florida, it is a public record regardless of whether you were acquitted or the case was dismissed. A criminal record can have significant impacts on your life; it can impair your ability to find employment, gain admittance into college, and, in some cases, affect a parent’s ability to participate in activities with their children.
Florida law, however, allows certain criminal records to be sealed or expunged, thereby making the record inaccessible to the public. While expunction and a court seal are closely related, there are important differences between the two.
An expunction of your criminal record results in the physical destruction of the record – it is as if it never happened and you may legally say that you do not have a record. Expunction is available to adults and minors alike who have one arrest or one criminal incident; you cannot, therefore, have an entire criminal record expunged.
The expunction process is initiated when you bring a civil action requesting the court to expunge your record. Certain charges, however, cannot be expunged. It is highly advisable that you seek the advice of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney in these matters.
Sealing a Criminal Record
When a criminal record is sealed, it is not accessible to the public unless a judge makes an order to the contrary. While many charges may be sealed, there are certain enumerated charges which cannot be sealed. Contact Mr. Yates to discuss whether your record is eligible to be sealed.
In order to have your criminal record sealed or expunged you must not have previously petitioned a court for a seal or expunction in Florida, or any other state. In some instances, where a record has been sealed for 10 years, and could not initially be expunged, may then be eligible for expunction. It is important to discuss the facts of your case with Mr. Yates so he can properly advise you as to the applicable remedy.
Juveniles may also have a criminal offense expunged or sealed. The Law Offices of Mr. Yates also provides representation of juveniles in the criminal justice system.
If you would like to discuss whether your criminal record is eligible to be sealed or expunged, contact Mr. Yates.