Clearwater Sealing & Expunging Records Lawyer
If you are convicted or plead guilty to a crime, the arrest and conviction will remain on your record essentially forever. However, the law does afford those arrested for certain types of crimes to have their records expunged or sealed. Contact our experienced Clearwater sealing & expunging records lawyer today, we can help.
What is sealing and expungement?
Sealing a conviction means that the records are inaccessible to the public. This would be helpful to someone trying to make sure future employers can’t see their prior conviction. Expungement is the physical destruction of all records related to a specific crime, meaning that the records are gone. Once a record is expunged, the State will retain a confidential record of that crime that is only authorized for use in certain circumstances and is unavailable to the public.
What are the requirements for an expungement?
You will need to attest to several elements before a court will authorize an expungement of your record. The applicant must attest that they have never had a record sealed or expunged before. While occasionally, multiple records related to the same offense can be expunged, the determination is made on a per-case basis. Generally, you cannot have multiple crimes related to different offenses expunged from your record.
To be eligible for expungement, the arrest must have been resolved by either being dismissed, dropped or acquitted. The dismissal can be done voluntarily by the prosecutor, by the judge or as a result of completing a pretrial intervention program.
What is sealing?
Sealed records are not destroyed but remain on file, inaccessible to the public. Similar to expungement, there must be no adjudication of guilt for the offense. That means that there is an arrest, but the case was resolved with a withhold of adjudication.
Other expungement requirements
It’s important to understand that expungement only applies to arrests. You cannot have a conviction expunged. In some cases, you won’t be able to have the arrest expunged even if the prosecution never came close to proving the elements of a crime. These cases include:
- All sex crimes
- Violations of Florida Communications Fraud Act
- Criminal conduct committed by public officials
- Drug trafficking (including cannabis)
- Violent crimes
- Domestic violence
Is it worth it to have your record expunged or sealed?
Everyone makes mistakes at some point and unfortunately law enforcement doesn’t always get it right. The Florida legislature knows these are true as well, which is why these options exist. Expungements and record sealings allow good people to me able to move on with their life rather than being dragged down by a one-time mistake or unfortunate situation. Call King Law Group today and we can begin the process of sealing or expunging your record.