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Eligibility for Expungement or Sealing in Tampa

Tampa Attorneys Assisting Defendants with Cleaning Criminal Records

Tampa serves as the county seat of Hillsborough County, where there were 46,660 arrests in 2019. Property crimes were the most common reason for Tampa arrests. If you were arrested in Tampa, you may be able to apply to the Hillsborough County Circuit Court to request the expungement or sealing of your criminal history record. To provide proof of your eligibility for expungement or sealing in Tampa, you may need to request records from the Tampa Police Department. A criminal record is publicly accessible and can adversely affect your ability to live as you want to live. Applying for expungement or sealing may provide relief. If you are interested in exploring your potential eligibility for expungement or sealing in Tampa, you should discuss your situation with the Tampa expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law.

Eligibility for Court-Ordered Expungement in Tampa

Florida Statutes section 943.0585 provides for a court-ordered expungement. You are eligible to petition the court for an expungement if certain criteria are met. You may be able to obtain an expungement of a record if an information, an indictment, or another charging document was not issued or filed. You are also eligible if a charging document was filed or issued, resulting in the creation of a criminal record, but the charges were resolved through nolle prosequi or dismissal, you received an acquittal, or the judge or jury found that you were not guilty.

Certain criminal history records are ineligible for court-ordered expungement under section 943.0584. You are not eligible for a court-ordered expungement if you have been adjudicated guilty of a crime or adjudicated delinquent in Florida for perpetrating a felony or various types of misdemeanors, except when the record of the adjudication of delinquency has been expunged according to section 943.0515. The misdemeanors that trigger this rule include assault, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, petit theft, arson, neglect of a child, illegal possession or discharge of a weapon or firearm on school property, illegal possession of a firearm, exposure of sexual organs, and cruelty to animals. You also cannot have been adjudicated guilty or delinquent based on actions arising out of the arrest or crime that forms the basis of your petition.

You are not eligible for court-ordered expungement if you are under court supervision connected to the criminal activity to which the expungement petition relates. Additionally, you cannot have obtained a prior sealing or expungement of a criminal history record under certain sections, unless you are seeking expungement for a record that has been previously sealed for 10 years.

Eligibility for Record Sealing in Tampa

Record sealing is another remedy that can provide protection from a criminal background check when you are seeking housing, jobs, entry into schools, or a professional license. Under section 943.059, you are eligible to petition a court to seal a criminal history record if the record is not ineligible under section 943.0584, or if you have never been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or adjudicated delinquent for perpetrating any felony or certain misdemeanors, except when the record was expunged under section 943.0515. You cannot be under court supervision applicable to the disposition of an arrest or the crime to which the petition to seal relates. You cannot have been adjudicated guilty of perpetrating any acts arising from the arrest or criminal activity to which the petition to seal relates. You also cannot have obtained a prior expungement of your record under certain code sections.

Other Kinds of Expungement

You can apply for court-ordered expungement or record sealing only once, but you may be eligible for other kinds of expungement, depending on the circumstances. For example, section 943.0583 provides for expungement for human trafficking victims with criminal records related to human trafficking. For another example, under section 943.0578, you may apply for a lawful self-defense expungement if you can obtain a Self-Defense Certificate of Eligibility when the state attorney or statewide prosecutor certifies that you acted in lawful self-defense under provisions related to a justifiable use of force, and the charges were not filed or were dismissed by the court or the state attorney.

Explore Your Options with an Expungement Attorney in Tampa

If you are wondering about your eligibility for expungement or sealing in Tampa, you should contact a dedicated criminal lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we may be able to represent you during the process of obtaining the appropriate form of relief for your situation. Call us at 800.373.1974 or complete our online form.

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