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Lakeland Criminal Law Attorneys | Auburndale Criminal Defense Lawyers

Get Your Criminal Record Sealed in Florida

If you have a criminal record in Florida, you may already be aware of how this has affected your life. Criminal arrests and convictions are official public records, which means they are ultimately available to anyone. For most practical purposes, this wasn't always a big deal. In the past, for someone to look up your Florida criminal history, they'd have to go down to a courthouse, or wherever your record is held, fill out a form, and a clerk would have to dig through some dusty old files to get you a copy. However, that has all changed with online recordkeeping. Not only are your records all on computers with the state of Florida, but those records are shared, and bought and sold in the marketplace. Criminal background checks are quick and cheap. And they are big business, too. There are dozens of online agents who will run a criminal background check for next to nothing. It is easy to imagine a very near future where your criminal record will pop right up on any simple Google search.

How Does Having a Criminal Record Affect Me?

Probably in ways you aren't even aware of. That's the thing about these quick, easy, and cheap criminal background checks. People do them all the time now. After a great job interview, you may wonder why you didn't get the job offer you expected. Or you may never get a call back at all - large companies may contract for access to these databases and do a check on people before even bringing them in to talk. It can affect you in your local community, too. It could be neighbors, or local community officials. You could be denied the ability to coach a kids basketball team or be a scoutmaster. The bottom line is that you very possibly won't ever know what people are saying, or what doesn't happen.

What Can I do to Hide or Seal an Old Florida Criminal Conviction?

We will go over the eligibility rules for expungement with you. If you have an offense on your record that is eligible, then we will prepare the proper paperwork to request a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement from the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement. When that certificate is approved and received, we will file a Petition to Expunge or Seal with the state. If there are hearings necessary, we will attend your expungement hearing to defend your right to have your criminal record cleared. The process isn't usually complicated, but the state government isn't always helpful or cooperative in getting this done. The attorney handing the expungement process can make sure the paperwork goes through cleanly and properly the first time. We can advise you of your rights in this matter. In any legal matter, what your attorney is there for it to protect and fight for you, above any and all other considerations. The Florida criminal justice system can be hostile or indifferent to what is critical to you. And a quick, proper and legal expungement of a past criminal mistake can be critical to the future you deserve.

 

Crimes that can NEVER be expunged or sealed

Be mindful that not all crimes can be expunged. Florida law does not allow certain crimes to be expunged or sealed. Certain crimes can not be punished at all even if adjudication was withheld (not technically a convicted felon – civil rights not taken away) at sentencing. While other crimes can not be expunged/sealed if you were adjudicated at sentencing.

A. Those delineated in section 907.041 (regardless if adjudication was withheld at sentencing)

  1. Arson;

  2. Aggravated assault;

  3. Aggravated battery;

  4. Illegal use of explosives;

  5. Child abuse or aggravated child abuse;

  6. Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult;

  7. Aircraft piracy;

  8. Kidnapping;

  9. Homicide;

  10. Manslaughter;

  11. Sexual battery;

  12. Robbery;

  13. Carjacking;

  14. Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in presence of a child under the age of 16 years;

  15. Sexual activity with a child, who is 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, by or at solicitation of person in familial or custodial authority;

  16. Burglary of a dwelling;

  17. Stalking and aggravated stalking;

  18. Act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28;

  19. Home invasion robbery;

  20. Act of terrorism as defined in s. 775.30; and

  21. Attempting or conspiring to commit any such crime.

  22. Luring and enticing a child (787.025)

    1. Procuring underage prostitution (796.03)

    2. Lewd and Lascivious acts under 16 (800.04)

    3. Communication Fraud (817.034)

    4. Lewd and Lascivious elder/disabled (825.1025)

    5. Use of child in sexual performance (827.071)

    6. Display obscene material to child (847.0133)

    7. Computer pornography to child (847.0135)

    8. Sell/Buy pornography to child (847.0145)

    9. Trafficking narcotics (893.135)

    10. Sexual Battery (Ch. 794)

    11. Offenses by public officers/employees (Ch. 839)

B. Those delineated in section 943.051

(only if you were adjudicated Guilty at sentencing)

  1. Assault, as defined in s. 784.011.

  2. Battery, as defined in s. 784.03.

  3. Carrying a concealed weapon, as defined in s. 790.01(1).

  4. Unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs, as defined

    in s. 790.1615(1).

  5. Negligent treatment of children, as defined in s. 827.05.

  6. Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or other specified officers, as defined in sections784.07(2)(a) and (b).

  7. Open carrying of a weapon, as defined in s. 790.053.

  8. Exposure of sexual organs, as defined in s. 800.03.

  9. Unlawful possession of a firearm, as defined in s.

    790.22(5).

  10. Petit theft, as defined in s. 812.014(3).

  11. Cruelty to animals, as defined in s. 828.12(1).

  12. Arson, as defined in s. 806.031(1).

  13. Unlawful possession or discharge of a weapon or firearm at a school-sponsored event or on school property as defined in s. 790.115.

Time to expunge/seal your records

At least 10 years shall pass before such record is eligible for expunction. However, you are not required TO WAIT the 10 years if charges were dismissed

Please contact our firm for a consultation on how we can help you get your records sealed or expunged. However, it can make a world of difference to you and your future opportunities.

 


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5835 U.S. Highway 98 South   Lakeland, Florida 33812   Toll Free: 877-669-6899   Ph: (863) 669-9999   Fax: (863) 669-0699