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Benefits of Expungement or Sealing in Jacksonville

Lawyers Skilled in Cleaning Criminal Records for Jacksonville Residents

Jacksonville is the county seat of Duval County. The crime rate in Jacksonville is 47% higher than Florida’s crime rate on average. Property crimes are the most common crimes in the city and in Duval County. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office serves both the city and the county. It has around 25,000 employees, including almost 2,000 sworn police, as well as corrections and civilian personnel. If you are interested in exploring the benefits of expungement or sealing in Jacksonville, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Jacksonville expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law.

Benefits of Expungement

Many people find themselves haunted by their criminal record. It can be difficult to get a job, to secure housing, or to obtain a professional license. If your record is expunged, you can lawfully deny or not acknowledge arrests covered by the expunged record, with some exceptions. Unlike record sealing, when a record is expunged, the criminal record at issue is physically obliterated or destroyed by any of the criminal justice agencies with custody over it.

The criminal record in the custody of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) needs to be retained in each case. If it is ordered expunged, however, it is confidential and exempt under Article I section 24(a) of the Florida Constitution and section 119.07(1), and it will not be available to anybody except by court order. The criminal justice agency can keep a notation that indicates that it is complying with an expungement order.

Exceptions to the general rule that you can lawfully deny or not acknowledge an arrest include when you are applying to work for a criminal justice agency, when you are a defendant in a criminal prosecution, if you are petitioning again for expungement or record sealing, if you are applying for admission to the Florida Bar, or if you are trying to get a job with certain departments that are responsible for vulnerable people, such as the Department of Children and Families. Our expungement attorneys can advise Jacksonville residents on whether a certain situation may trigger an exception.

Benefits of Sealing

Record sealing carries some of the same benefits as expungement, but the record is not destroyed. A major benefit of sealing your criminal record is that you can lawfully fail to acknowledge or deny any arrests covered by the sealed record under most circumstances, although there are exceptions. You cannot deny an arrest if you are trying to get a job for a criminal justice agency, if you are a defendant in a criminal prosecution, if you concurrently or subsequently petition for sealing or court-ordered expungement, or if you are applying for admission to the Florida Bar.

When a criminal record is ordered sealed, it is treated as confidential. It is exempt under Article I section 24(a) of the Florida Constitution and section 119.07(1). It will be available to your attorney and you, as well as criminal justice agencies for their respective criminal justice purposes, such as judges in the state court system to help with case-related decision-making responsibilities, or certain entities for respective licensing access authorization and job purposes.

Benefits of Other Types of Expungement

Although court-ordered expungement and record sealing are the most commonly sought types of expungement and sealing, there are other forms of relief that our Jacksonville expungement attorneys may be able to help you obtain, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you are a victim of human trafficking who was arrested or convicted of prostitution in connection with the human trafficking activity, you may want to consider petitioning to have your criminal record expunged under section 943.0583. For another example, if you were arrested in connection with acts that constituted self-defense, you may be able to get the record expunged through a lawful self-defense expungement under section 943.0578.

Explore Your Options with a Knowledgeable Florida Attorney

A criminal record can make it challenging to obtain housing or a job in Jacksonville or elsewhere in Duval County. However, you may be able to obtain benefits from expungement or sealing of your records. It is important to talk to a seasoned criminal defense attorney about your situation. At Hanlon Law, we have expunged and sealed thousands of criminal records across Florida. Call us at 813.228.7095 or contact us through our online form to discuss your case with an expungement lawyer in the Jacksonville area.

Client Reviews
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I highly recommend this law firm who worked on my case. Their staff is highly professional and when ever I called to get an update on my case Kathy always took the time to explain things thoroughly. I admire their honesty and professionalism and the price for their services are reasonable. I am very grateful for their services and for getting my case resolved and I recommend this firm to anyone. Victor