In the State of Florida, if you are arrested, the law allows you under limited circumstances to have your record expunged. If you fall outside of those limits, you may still be eligible to have your record sealed and therefore it is suggested you refer to the section on sealing a criminal record as well.
When your record is expunged it is literally erased. When it is sealed it is sealed and kept from public view. It is harder to get your record expunged than it is to be sealed and many people are not eligible to have their record expunged. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss with an attorney whether you are eligible.
If you have ever had a record sealed or expunged in the past you are no longer eligible because you are only allowed under existing law to seal or expunge your record one time. If you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense or, if you have been convicted or adjudicated of the offense in question, you are not eligible.
You must petition the appropriate court to expunge your record. The judge has the authority or discretion to either grant or deny your request.
By expunging your record you may save substantial embarrassment in the future and it may even help you get a job. It is also possible in certain circumstances to truthfully deny that you were ever arrested even though the arrest did take place. But the right to deny the arrest is limited to certain situations and so it is always helpful to review those with an attorney prior to denying your arrest. As indicated above, it is intended for you to refer to the section on sealing your record as well as this section in order to determine which process is best for you. However, because the area is complicated, it is recommended that you discuss this matter with a competent Florida criminal defense lawyer.
Under Florida law, an individual arrested in the State of Florida may be eligible to have their criminal arrest record sealed. You should also be advised that in certain situations the record can be directly expunged. Expunging a record involves the erasure of the records while sealing a record results in the records being sealed and out of view for a period of time. Please refer to the section on expunging your record to see if you’re eligible for that procedure.
If however, you are not eligible for expungement directly, or, if you prefer to have your record only sealed, it will be necessary that you determine if you are qualified. You are only entitled to have your criminal record sealed or expunged once in your lifetime. Therefore, under existing law, if you have ever had a sealed or expunged record in the past you are no longer eligible. Likewise, you must not have been convicted or adjudicated of the criminal offense you are seeking to have sealed. Because the qualifications for sealing your record are quite complicated, it is very helpful to discuss the matter with an attorney first.
Having your record sealed may result in saving a substantial amount of embarrassment and possibly help you obtain a job. Also, under certain situations, you can truthfully deny the existence of your arrest even though the arrest did take place. Please keep in mind however, there are exceptions to your right to deny the existence of your arrest and you do not want to get in trouble by denying the arrest in a situation where the law does not provide for such relief.
If you have a criminal record and would like to learn more about having your criminal record sealed or erased, please contact Asilia Law Firm today for a consultation.