Adult criminal records in Florida are generally public information with a few exceptions. Consequently, a criminal record could affect a person’s life in many ways, such as: interfering with their ability to find housing or employment. In some cases, an individual may have their criminal record expunged, or removed from their criminal history.
The process of expungement involves several steps. Ultimately, whether a record becomes expunged depends on multiple factors such as what type of criminal offenses and how many convictions are on an individual’s record. A knowledgeable Tequesta expungement Lawyer could guide a former offender through the expungement application process. Schedule a consultation with one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert to get started on your case today.
Differences Between Record Expungement and Record Sealing
A Court Order expunging a record requires certain agencies to destroy an individual’s file. In contrast, sealing a record allows the record to still exist. Sealing and expunging a record only prevents the public from having access to a person’s criminal record. Although an expunged record will not appear in any background check, the FDLE may disclose an expunged record to specific parties if an individual is applying for Government employment or a professional license such as the Department of Education.
The qualifications to have a record sealed or expunged differ. For instance, only individuals without prior convictions and dismissed charges can qualify for record expungement. Dismissal refers to when a prosecutor drops charges, a judge grants a motion, or an individual gets acquitted at trial.
On the other hand, an individual can qualify for a record seal despite having pled guilty or being found guilty at trial. However, there are some types of offenses that do not qualify for a seal or expungement.
Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for Crime Expungement in Tequesta
A person must apply for a certificate of eligibility to initiate the process of having their record expunged. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) requires that applicants take the following steps to obtain this certificate:
- Complete an application for a Certificate of Eligibility as instructed
- Complete the FDLE fingerprint form (FD 40-024)
- Obtain a disposition of the case that an applicant wants to expunge
- Pay a $75 application fee before the listed expiration date
- Supply a letter from an Attorney if the applicant has legal representation
Any missing information could prevent a petitioner from having their record expunged. A qualified expungement Attorney could assist a petitioner with their application process in Tequesta by ensuring that all requirements are satisfied before submission for review.
Petitioning for the Expungement of a Criminal Record
A petition for the expungement of criminal records is complete when the FDLE has released the petitioner’s valid certificate of eligibility. The petitioner must issue a sworn statement declaring that:
- They have not been convicted of further crimes, offenses, violations before the filed certificate
- They have not been adjudicated for a crime like the one listed on the certificate
- They qualify for this expungement and have not filed for additional expungements
- They have not secured another petition unless they are requesting expungement for criminal offenses that occurred at least ten years ago
Contact a Tequesta Expungement Attorney Today
The possibility of having your records expunged provides both a feeling of excitement and anticipation. However, you should know that the expungement process is more complicated than you think. To traverse quickly and effectively through this process, you should speak with one of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert before taking any action. A Tequesta expungement Lawyer could review your past convictions and inform you of your eligibility for expungement. Call today to get started.