What is the benefit of having my Florida criminal record sealed or expunged?: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney explains
The moment you’re arrested in Florida you have a criminal history and a criminal record. The benefit of having your criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida is that your criminal history and criminal record will no longer be a public file, and could even be (more or less) “erased” from your record altogether.
The moment you are arrested (or receive a Notice to Appear in Court) in Florida - you have a criminal history.
That immediate criminal history is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And any and all police, crime and arrest reports are public record - which means that the public has access to your criminal records.
But when you have your criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida, it is no longer a public record - which means that the general public can no longer see your criminal history and they have no right to see it:
“A criminal history record ordered expunged (or sealed) that is retained by the department is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and not available to any person or entity except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction**.”
**This subjects anyone that discloses it to liability. Liability is not automatic but the possibility is usually enough to have most private companies remove the information from their records as well.
In short, you need a court order (and therefore, a great criminal defense attorney) to get your Florida Criminal Record sealed or expunged.
Sealing a criminal record in Florida means the public cannot see it, and most employers will not have access to it. It is confidential from the public and can only be seen by the person who is the subject of the record, the victim or a criminal justice agency. Some official Florida state and federal government agencies may have access to the criminal history records even when sealed.
Expunging a criminal record in Florida means the arrest and / or conviction is completely cleared from a person’s criminal record. This had a similar effect to a record being sealed, as the record is not viewable or accessible by the general public or an employer.
When a record is expunged, agencies that would have access to a sealed record will be able to know that criminal information has been expunged from the record, and would only have access to the record through a court order - but otherwise would only be able to see that there was expunged information.
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.
Give us a call today to get help now: