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Eligibility for Expungement or Sealing in Orlando

Criminal Defense Lawyers Advocating for Orlando Residents

The county seat of Orange County in Florida is Orlando. The City of Orlando maintains police reports, along with many other documents recorded by the city. However, you can request court records from the Orange County Clerk of Court. Records can be requested online, in person, or by mail. If you have been arrested or subject to criminal prosecution, you may find that it is more difficult to move forward from the incident than you had imagined. Criminal records are public, which means that they will come up in criminal background checks for jobs, housing, and more. Expungement or sealing may provide some relief. If you want to find out about your eligibility for expungement or sealing in Orlando, you should discuss your situation with the Orlando expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law.

Eligibility for Expungement or Sealing in Orlando

Various kinds of expungement or sealing may be available to you in Florida, and each carries its own eligibility requirements. Some of the different kinds of relief include court-ordered expungement, record sealing, lawful self-defense expungement, early juvenile expungement, and human trafficking expungement.

Court-ordered expungement is commonly sought. The criteria that you must meet are set forth under Florida Statutes section 943.0585. You may be able to obtain this relief if you were arrested but not charged. You may also be eligible if charges were filed or issued, but these were nolle prosequi or dismissed, or there was a judgment of acquittal or a not guilty verdict. You will need to apply for a certificate of eligibility prior to petitioning for expungement. Eligibility does not necessarily mean that your petition for expungement will be granted. While the court does not have total, unrestricted discretion over whether to grant your petition, it does have some discretion, which makes it important to retain an attorney.

Eligibility for Record Sealing

Eligibility requirements for the relief provided by record sealing are set forth under section 943.059. As with court-ordered expungement, you will not be eligible for record sealing if you are on probation or if you previously had a record expunged or sealed. You cannot have been adjudicated guilty in Florida of a criminal offense before the date that your application for a certificate of eligibility is filed. You also cannot have been adjudicated guilty of or delinquent for perpetrating any of the acts arising from the arrest or the criminal activity to which your petition relates. You will need to apply for a certificate of eligibility before you petition for record sealing. Being eligible does not mean that your petition will automatically be granted. The court has discretion over whether to order that your records be sealed.

Who is Ineligible for Court-Ordered Expungement or Record Sealing?

Certain criminal records are ineligible for court-ordered expungement or sealing under section 943.0584. These include records involving convictions for illegal use of explosives, sexual misconduct, murder, terrorism, manslaughter, assault, battery, aggravated assault, luring or enticing a child, kidnapping, false imprisonment, human trafficking, lewd and lascivious offenses against people younger than age 16, drug manufacturing, and drug trafficking.

A conviction, as defined under section 943.0584, means that there was a determination of guilt. A determination of guilt may be a result of a guilty verdict at trial, or it may be a result of a plea of nolo contendere or guilty, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. If you were a minor at the time of the charge, a conviction may involve a finding that you committed a delinquent act or pled guilty or nolo contendere to perpetrating a delinquent act, irrespective of whether the adjudication of delinquency was withheld.

Eligibility for Other Types of Expungement

The circumstances will dictate whether you are eligible for one of the other types of expungement. You should discuss your options with an attorney. For example, under Florida Statutes section 943.0578, you may be eligible for lawful self-defense expungement if no indictment, information, or other charging document was filed, or, if it was filed, it was dismissed based on a finding that you acted in lawful self-defense according to the provisions for the justifiable use of force under Florida Statutes Chapter 776. You would need a certificate of eligibility for this type of expungement.

Retain a Seasoned Expungement Attorney

If you are concerned about your eligibility for expungement or sealing in Orlando, it is important to seek out knowledgeable counsel. You should discuss your situation with the criminal defense lawyers at Hanlon Law. We have expunged and sealed thousands of criminal records around the state. Call us at 800.373.1974 or contact us through our online form.

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