If you were charged with an offense but were not convicted, you might be eligible to seal your criminal record. While the record is restricted to the public, it doesn’t make it disappear from your life. Law enforcement officers and other officials may have access to these records.
However, you will have a clean slate according to any publicly accessed data. You might want to speak to a Kissimmee expungement lawyer to discuss your specific case.
In those cases where your record can be sealed, you might qualify for expungement after a decade. However, before you expunge your record, they must be sealed by the courts.
For juveniles, they may have their records automatically expunged at age 24 or 26. These expungement cases depend on the severity of the crime. In some cases, if the minor successfully completes a diversion program, their lawyer can petition for record sealing.
If you have been convicted of a crime, sealing and expungement are not available options. In Florida, you can also not seal more than one criminal record.
In Florida, there are several requirements to expunge your criminal record, such as:
To seal or expunge your criminal record in Florida, you must submit all documentation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). However, record sealing and expungement are serious legal matters. You will want to consult an experienced attorney to assist with your case. Alexander Smith-Johnson can help handle this legal process for you.
If you believe that sealing and expungement of your records is a simple process, you need to think again. In some cases, it can take about 12 weeks for Florida law enforcement officials to conduct a background check on you. Once they have determined your eligibility, you must fill out a Certificate of Eligibility with the state of Florida. This step is a fundamental part of the expungement process.
Unfortunately, during this background check, you might be disqualified from sealing or expunging your records. You cannot expedite this process as the FDLE will analyze these requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.
When you hire an expungement lawyer, you can remove any doubt surrounding your application. Your paperwork will be correctly filled out, and you can minimize any of those potential problems. You don’t want to wait all that time only to find out your paperwork is missing an important piece of information.
When you send your application for expungement to the FDLE, there are a few requirements, such as:
After you have been approved for eligibility, you will need to file a petition with the county court where you were arrested. With the petition and Certification of Eligibility, you will also need to file an affidavit. The testimony is your sworn statement that your criminal record qualifies for expungement.
With all those important steps, you don’t want to leave out any details. Even a minor mistake can cause your petition to be rejected by the court. For those reasons, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer to help with expunging your records.
After you have your criminal record sealed or expunged, you can truthfully answer “no” if you have ever been convicted of a crime. In turn, you will be able to apply for a job or housing without worrying about a denied application. Some other benefits include:
When you get your criminal record expunged from the public, you can live your life without social stigmas. You don’t have to worry about your criminal record following you for the rest of your life. With that, you have plenty of opportunities reopened to you.
Alexander Smith-Johnson wants you to have a fresh start as you leave that criminal record behind you. He will work aggressively to ensure your expungement application and petition are handled with care.
Before you begin this process, make sure to contact a skilled attorney to seal or expunge your record. If you need help with expungement, contact Alexander Smith-Johnson, Kissimmee’s top criminal defense lawyer.