Am I eligible to expunge my Florida Criminal record?: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney explains
If you have no prior criminal convictions convictions (you were not adjudicated guilty or convicted guilty of a crime) AND your case was dismissed (nolle prosequi) then you should be eligible to expunge your Florida criminal record of the criminal charges against you.
In Florida, an expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is erased in the eyes of the law and should not appear on a background check.
When a record is expunged, it is more or less ‘erased’ from the eyes of the public. Employers should not be able to see it, and agencies like cities, counties, and law enforcement will only be able to see that criminal information was completely removed from the person’s Florida criminal record and the only way even police would be able to see what was expunged would be through a court order.
In Florida, you need a court order to be considered for a criminal record expungement or to seal a criminal record. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) needs an order from the court in the proper jurisdiction.
Sealing and Expunging criminal records in Florida is similar in that both Sealing and Expunging Florida criminal records limits who is able to see them. For the person who is the subject of the records, the effect of sealing or expunging is very similar as both sealing and expunging make it so that the criminal record information is not available to the public, and is not searchable in public records. Sealing a criminal record is unlike expunging one in that an expunged record is effectively “erased” while a sealed record - though not available to the public - still exists.
In Florida, some crimes that are not allowed to be sealed or expunged include (but are not limited to): Arson, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Rape & Sexual Battery, Robbery, Carjacking, Burglary of a Dwelling, Stalking and Domestic Violence. Even if you receive a withhold of adjudication (meaning you are not convicted guilty) on these charges you still will not be able to seal your record.
Oftentimes, when you’re facing one of those charges that cannot be sealed - highly skilled Florida criminal defense lawyers can negotiate with Florida State Prosecutors for lesser charges that are no longer disqualifying offenses (which means your record could still be sealed).
If you’re in the South Florida Tri-County Area and you think you may qualify for either sealing or expunging your Florida Criminal record, give our office a call to see if you qualify and if we can help you get your Florida Criminal record expunged.
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