If you were arrested for a crime, but not convicted, you may be able to expunge the arrest and Court information, thereby removing it from your record.
If you pled to a crime, but were given a Withhold of Adjudication by the Court, you may be able to seal the record so that the details are no longer public record.
What are the benefits of expunging or sealing a criminal record?
- That beautiful arrest photo on the Sheriff's office website will be removed from the internet and public records.
- The information will be removed from the public records of the local Clerk of Court. This includes the internet records on the Clerk's website. Now Internet surfers won't happen upon your information from the Clerk of Court.
- You may avoid questions about the case from potential employers because the record is gone (expunged) of sealed (not open for public view). Some government, and other employers, may be able to see it, but most private employers who run a background check will not have access to these records after a sealing or expunction.
How do I seal or expunge my record?
The process of sealing or expunging a record starts with completing an application for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE); then a representative from the State Attorney's Office signs off on the application; after this, you submit the application, fingerprints and the fee to the FDLE.If FDLE gives you a certificate of approval, you then file a Petition with the Court and in most cases, attend a Court hearing.
Can an attorney help me with this process?
Yes. A criminal defense attorney can complete the documents for you, ensure that everything is filed correctly with the appropriate agency, obtain the requried signature from the State Attorney's office, file the Petition in Court, and represent you at the Court hearing.
If you would like more information on sealing or expunging, or want to find out if you are eligible, the attorneys at Bogle Law would be happy to help you.