Seal and Expunge Record
A criminal record can haunt one for life. A criminal record can have a negative effect on your employment, college enrollment and your credit score. If you are not a U.S. Citizen a criminal record could cause you to be deported.
Criminal Records include judicial records (Courthouse) and non-judicial records (police records of arrest, bookings etc.) The sealing or expunging of a criminal record includes judicial and non-judicial records An Administrative Expunction of a record is different, this occurs when an adult or minor was arrested by mistake or contrary to law; thereby creating a non-judicial record. In this situation a law enforcement agency shall apply to the Department to have the non-judicial record expunged. Otherwise the arrested person will have to apply for the same.
A with-holding of adjudication is still a criminal record. The Sentencing guidelines or the Florida Punishment Code still treats a with-holding of adjudication the same as an adjudication or conviction, in most circumstances. Immigration treats a with-holding of adjudication the same as an adjudication or conviction.
The Public Defender’s Office does not handle the Sealing or Expunging of Criminal Records.
What is the difference between a Sealed Record and an Expunged Record?
A record that is sealed means the general public will not have access to it, but certain Government entities, may have access it to it. When a record is expunged, it means that the record is destroyed; however those same government entities which would have access to a sealed record would only get a statement indicating that the record has been expunged. Further when you have your record expunged it is necessary to have the Assistant State Attorney sign your application for Expunction. The Assistant State Attorney’s signature is not required when having your record sealed.
The first important hurdle in having your record expunged is that the charges against you were dropped, not filed, Nolle Prosequi, or dismissed. Therefore even a serious charge that is not filed or dropped will not prevent you from seeking to have your record expunged, if you are otherwise qualified. This is not the same as being acquitted at trial or found Not Guilty at trial. If you were acquitted at trial you will not be eligible to have your record expunged. However, if you otherwise qualify, you still may be eligible to have your record sealed. If your record is sealed for ten (10) years, and you otherwise qualify, you may then be eligible to apply to have that record expunged.
Another benefit in having your record expunged is that you may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record, without fear of being charged with perjury. Of Course there are exceptions to this rule: 1. If you are a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency, 2. A defendant in a criminal prosecution, 3. Concurrent or subsequent applications for sealing or expunging your criminal record. 4. Is a candidate for the Florida Bar, 5. Is seeking to be employed with the Department of Children and Family services, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for the Health Care Administration, the Agency with the Person with Disabilities, or the Department of Juvenile Justice. Further there are other exceptions as well as the ones I have mentioned. Please see Florida Statute 943.0585(4), or contact your lawyer.
In order to have your record sealed, at worst you must have at least what’s called a “with-holding of adjudication” If you were adjudicated guilty of the crime you will not be eligible to have your record sealed. Further some types of crimes usually the more serious violent charges or charges of fraud will disqualify you from sealing a record even with a with-holding of adjudication.
My website provides some information regarding eligibility requirements to have your record sealed or expunged (Click here). Also this site provides information about Disqualifying charges for having your record sealed or expunged. (Click here)
If you are certified eligible to have your record sealed or expunged then it is up to the discretion of the Judge to Order your record sealed or expunged.
It is best to consult with an attorney to determine if you qualify to have your record sealed or expunged. Lawyer Steven M. Logan at (561) 791-1882
It is best to move quickly on sealing or expunging your criminal history, before a private agency obtains your criminal history record.
Attorney Steven M. Logan can handle the Seal or Expunction of your criminal Record. You may want to consider to purchase my “Attorney Assisted Do it yourself Seal and Expunge Packet Kit for $199.00 (click here) for more details.
Attorney Steven M. Logan handles the Seal and Expunction of criminal records in South Florida, Palm Beach, Broward and the Treasure Coast. Call (561) 791-1882.