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.
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.
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.
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)
B. Those delineated in section 943.051
(only if you were adjudicated Guilty at sentencing)
in s. 790.1615(1).
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.
For over twenty years, the law firm of Allen & Abaray, P.A. has provided exceptional statewide representation for injury victims, and the families of those who are injured or killed by the conduct of others. While our personal injury lawyers are based in Lakeland, we represent clients throughout the State of Florida.
Allen & Abaray, P.A. offers a free consultation in all personal injury cases. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in any type of accident, call (863) 669-9999 or toll-free at (877) 669-6899 today to speak with a Lakeland personal injury attorney about your case. We won’t charge an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for your injuries.*