If you have ever been arrested in Florida, whether or not the charges were dropped or a jury found you “Not Guilty,” your arrest is still public record. To prevent anyone from viewing your criminal record, you would want to look into having it sealed or expunged.
Not only can having an arrest record make it hard to find employment, but it also makes it difficult to rent a place or get a degree. You can explain what happened and how nothing came of the charges, but it still might be something you want to be eliminated.
Sealing means that the record will be confidential, and the public will not access it. However, certain governmental or related entities will have access to all of the information contained in it. Once it is sealed, with very few exceptions, you can then legally deny or fail to acknowledge that the arrest ever happened. After it has been sealed for a period of time, you may be eligible to have it expunged.
Expungement, unlike sealing, should not show any arrest history at all. As with sealing, once it is expunged, with very few exceptions, you can then legally deny or fail to acknowledge that the arrest ever happened.
You may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged if the charges were dismissed and you have never been adjudicated guilty of any other crime.
After having your criminal record expunged, it is unavailable to the general public, future employers, or other inquiring parties.
However, not everyone is eligible for this service. To have your record sealed or expunged, you must meet the following criteria, according to Florida Law:
- You have not previously had your criminal arrest record sealed or expunged in Florida
- You were not adjudicated guilty of the crime
- You have not previously been adjudicated guilty of a crime
- You are not under court-ordered supervision, such as probation or house arrest
- You did not enter a guilty or no contest plea to an offense that is ineligible for sealing or expungement.
If you are looking to seal or expunge your criminal history in Florida, contact experienced sealing and expungement attorney Brandon Gans today for a free consultation.