Expunging a criminal record can provide a second chance for someone, and the expungement process can begin immediately after a case is dismissed and closed. With the advent of instant background checks, criminal history can affect occupational, educational, housing and banking opportunities.
Having a Criminal History Record Sealed vs. Expunged
The legal effect of a sealing and expungement is virtually the same. The difference between the two legal actions is the effect on the files which are held by the clerk’s office and prosecutor’s office. For an expungement, the file must be destroyed. For a sealing, the file is kept but cannot be opened without a court order.
Eligibility for Expungement
In Florida, you might be eligible for expungement if:
– Your charge was dismissed.
– You have not been previously convicted of a crime anywhere in the United States
– You haven’t been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent involving specified charges
– You’ve never had charges expunged anywhere else
– You’re not presently under court supervision or court diversion
However, certain charges are ineligible for expungement.
What Happens After an Expungement
When criminal records are expunged, your booking photo and record of the crime are removed from the public record. When applying for almost all jobs, you are not required to disclose the record for which you have had your record expunged and can legally deny having been charged and/or arrested. However, there are certain exceptions in which an expunged record must still be disclosed. These include, but are not limited to, applying for a job in law enforcement or a job in which you will be working with children (ex. teacher).
Getting an Expungement in Florida
An expungement can give you a second chance; however, Florida law only allows one expungement in a lifetime. Eligibility for expungement can be a complicated issue, and the process itself is tedious. It requires involvement with the appropriate courts, the Office of the State’s Attorney and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is critical that you retain a knowledgeable and experienced criminal attorney for this purpose.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group
You can call the Khonsari Law Group or use our online contact form for a consultation and evaluation.