If you are arrested for a crime in the state of Florida, you automatically have a criminal record—even if you were never actually charged or convicted. This criminal record is public, meaning it is available to any potential employer, landlord, or anyone with access to a computer and the internet. Having a criminal record presents many problems, including difficulties obtaining or keeping a job, renting an apartment or securing a home loan, attending university, and more. What’s more, you are required by law to disclose your criminal record in certain professional situations.
The state of Florida offers two possible processes for those who wish to make their criminal record inaccessible to the public. Sealing your record means that only certain entities, such as law enforcement and the courts, will be able to see your criminal record, rather than the general public. Expunging your record, on the other hand, involves the physical destroying of your record with only one confidential copy being kept, accessible only by court order.
In order to request that your criminal record be sealed or expunged, you will need to file an application with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This application must include, among other materials and information, a copy of the final disposition in your criminal case. If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate of eligibility. You will then need to petition the court that handled your case to have your record sealed or expunged. You will need to present a copy of the certificate of eligibility to both the prosecutor and the arresting agency.
Need a Lawyer For Expungement?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Florida, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.
At Monroe & King, P.A., we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (904) 474-3115.