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Benefits of Expungement or Sealing in Orlando

Advocacy for Orlando Residents Seeking a Fresh Start

Orlando serves as the county seat for Florida’s Orange County. The annual reported total crime in Orlando is 5,611 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the rate for Florida or for the nation in general. Of these crimes, most are property crimes rather than violent crimes. A criminal record may follow you into all your future endeavors. If you are interested in the benefits of expunging or sealing your criminal record, you should discuss your options with the Orlando expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law.

Types of Expungement and Sealing

There are benefits to both expungement and sealing. Most people seek court-ordered expungement or record sealing, due to their significant benefits and broader applicability. However, there are also other types of expungement and sealing that might be available to you depending on your circumstances, such as administrative expungement, early juvenile expungement, human trafficking expungement, and lawful self-defense expungement. Lawful self-defense expungement, for example, is governed by section 943.0578. You might seek it if charges were dropped or not filed because it was found that you acted in lawful self-defense. It carries the same benefits as court-ordered expungement or sealing.

Benefits of Court-Ordered Expungement or Sealing

In Florida, criminal records are public records, but if the record is expunged or sealed, it is not a public record anymore. It becomes confidential and exempt under Article I section 24(a) of the State Constitution and section 119.07.

Court-ordered expungement is covered by Florida Statutes section 943.0585. When a record is expunged, it is physically destroyed by the criminal agencies that have custody over it, but a confidential copy remains with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Our expungement attorneys can help Orlando residents determine whether they are eligible.

Record sealing is covered by section 943.059. Unlike with expungement, the record is not physically destroyed when it is sealed. It remains out of the hands of people without a legal right of access, but the information is still on file, and local, state, and federal government agencies have access. In most cases, it can still protect you against not getting a job or being unable to find a rental.

Different governmental entities will need to undertake actions in connection with expungement or sealing. In Orlando, the Orange County Clerk of Court will need to prevent all public access to a sealed or expunged record. It will not be available for search on the website, in person, or by mail. The arresting agency will need to remove public access to files. If the record is expunged, the arresting agency must physically destroy it, while if it is sealed, the record will become confidential by sealing it with tape. The state attorney needs to take similar action regarding the file. The FDLE needs to remove access to the records from its website and forward the order to the FBI.

Denial of Prior Arrest

If our Orlando expungement attorneys help you obtain either court-ordered expungement or record sealing, you will receive the important benefit of being able to deny or not acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record in most circumstances. For example, if you are applying to rent an apartment, you can lawfully deny that you were arrested. Similarly, if you apply for most jobs, you can deny or not acknowledge an arrest. There are exceptions, such as when you are applying for a job with a criminal justice agency or applying for certain sensitive jobs involving contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly. You will also be unable to deny or fail to acknowledge the record if you are hoping to be appointed as a guardian by a court.

Subject to certain exceptions, you cannot be held to have perpetrated perjury or be liable for a false statement if you fail to admit an expunged or sealed criminal record.

Contact a Tenacious Defense Attorney

There are many benefits of expungement and sealing. Not everyone is eligible, however, and the laws governing these forms of relief are complicated. You should discuss your situation with the seasoned criminal defense attorneys at Hanlon Law. We have obtained expungements and sealings for thousands of criminal records across the state, and we can discuss your options and guide you through the appropriate process. Call us at 800.373.1974 or contact us through our online form for assistance from an expungement lawyer in the Orlando area.

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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