If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Florida, then you understand just how harmful a criminal record can be. Delray Beach expungement lawyers can help you determine whether your record is eligible for expungement or sealing. Speak with a distinguished criminal attorney who can assist you at every stage of the process.
Section 943.053 of the Florida Statutes makes adult criminal history records available to the public. A criminal history record includes any arrests, resulting in charges, and the disposition of those charges. Under Florida law, there are two processes for restricting access to criminal records–sealing and expungement (sometimes referred to as expunction). When a criminal record is expunged, it is removed from all record systems and physically destroyed (except one copy will be held by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)). Expungement is preferable to sealing because governmental entities cannot access the contents of the criminal record absent a court order.
Types of expungement include administrative, court-ordered, juvenile diversion, automatic juvenile, early juvenile, lawful self-defense, human trafficking.When a criminal record is sealed, the public will no longer have access to it through governmental databases. However, city, county, state, and federal criminal justice agencies and governmental entities are able to access records even if they are sealed. When a criminal record is sealed, the public will no longer have access to it through governmental databases. Delray Beach expungement lawyers have seen city, county, state, and federal criminal justice agencies and governmental entities are able to access records even if they are sealed.
Expungement and Sealing Process
The first step in getting a criminal record expunged or sealed is applying for a Certificate of Eligibility. The FDLE will review the application to determine if the person is eligible to petition the court to have his or her record sealed or expunged. The application will be denied if any of the following apply:
- The applicant has been adjudicated guilty (i.e. convicted) of a criminal offense as an adult.
- The applicant has been adjudicated guilty as an adult or adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for the offense that he or she is seeking to be expunged or sealed.
- The applicant has previously had a record sealed or expunged.
- The applicant has a petition to seal or expunge pending in another jurisdiction.
- The applicant has not completed applicable court supervision.
- The applicant has entered a plea of guilty or no contest to any of the disqualifying offenses detailed in Section 907.041.
Effect of Sealing a Criminal Record
If the court orders that the record be sealed or expunged, the person may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrest(s), unless he or she is:
- Applying for admission to the Florida Bar
- A defendant in a criminal prosecution
- Seeking employment with a criminal justice agency
- Applying to have another criminal matter expunged or sealed
- Seeking employment or access to a seaport
- Seeking employment or licensing with/by DCF or the Agency for Health Care Administration
- Agency for Persons with Disability include, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Education and any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities.
Speaking with a Delray Beach Expungement Attorney
Delray Beach expungement lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the record expungement or sealing process so that it is as painless as possible. It is very important to limit the “sunlight” your criminal history (arrest, charge, booking photo, etc. ) ever sees in Public. You need to be able to permanently deny this charge (if expunged) to as many people as possible. Contact our firm today for a case consultation.