If the police arrested you or you appeared in a Court for a criminal matter, you may have a permanent record. Information pertaining to an arrest or a charge could appear on background checks and affect your ability to get a job or receive a lease on a home. There may be options for hiding your arrest record, but these procedures are subject to strict requirements.
The process of expungement or sealing a record can be complicated, and there is no automatic right to expunge a record. If you are concerned about your arrest appearing on background checks, reach out to a Greenacres expungement lawyer. Our skilled attorneys at Leifert & Leifert may be able to explain whether you can request the Government expunge your record and the most appropriate way to do so. Due to the sensitive nature of this issue, you may wish to pursue your matter in a timely fashion.
When can a Record be Expunged?
If the Court convicts you of a crime, or you plead guilty or no contest, then you cannot request the Government expunge your record. If the police arrested you or the Government filed charges, but the charges were dropped or dismissed before a Trial, then you may be eligible for an expungement.
What is the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing?
An expunged record is removed from Government systems and files. The record is destroyed. A sealed record means that the file is no longer available to the public through Government databases. People can find the laws related to sealing in Florida Statute §943.0 59. This may keep specific information away from most potential employers. In most cases, only Government agencies have access to sealed records. Those agencies may also be able to see what you had expunged from your record, but would need a Court order to know that information.
Even if you cannot request the Government to expunge your record, you may be able to request a seal.
Benefits of an Expungement
If your record is expunged, you may legally deny the record. You could also deny any sealed arrests or convictions. Other benefits may include:
- Not listing those sealed or expunged items on a job application
- Retaining a professional license or certificate
Requirements for an Expungement
As a Greenacres expungement attorney may advise, the Government has strict rules for expungement, which are described in Florida Statute §943.0585. If the following are true, you may be eligible:
- No previous expungement
- No pending expungement in another state
- No finding of guilt of a criminal offense
- Not under probation, pre-Trial release or house arrest
- Did not violate probation
- Did not plead guilty or no contest to a crime which the Government cannot delete
You may only pursue one expungement petition at a time. You should also wait at least ten years after the sealing of a criminal record if the Court convicted you of an offense usually ineligible for expungement.
Learn More from a Greenacres Expungement Attorney
If you have an arrest record, you may be worried about its effect on your reputation. There are many circumstances in which someone could perform a background check on you which would turn up any public information. If you are eligible to have specific details removed from your record, you may wish to pursue an expungement. Even if you cannot receive an expungement, you may still be able to request the Government seal your record. Speak with a Greenacres expungement lawyer to discuss your legal options for protecting your reputation.