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Expungement Filing in Tampa

Tampa Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Criminal Defendants

Tampa is the county seat of Hillsborough County. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintains crime data for Hillsborough County, along with other counties in Florida, and shows that there were 52,459 arrests there in 2017. Tampa residents can obtain arrest and court records from the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Circuit Court. If you were arrested or charged in Tampa, and you are interested in expunging or sealing your criminal history records, you will need to apply for these forms of relief in the Hillsborough County Circuit Court. It can take up to a year from the initial expungement filing in Tampa to the point at which the records are expunged. The Tampa expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law can help you with this process.

Expungement Filing in Tampa

A criminal record can follow you around for years into the future. The information is public, which means that it can be easily accessed by anyone with whom you come into contact. After being arrested, you may find it difficult to secure housing, obtain a job, or get a professional license. Filing for expungement of your criminal records can be a good step toward obtaining a new start.

Not everyone is eligible for expungement of a criminal record. You should consult an attorney about whether you are eligible based on your criminal history. You are not eligible if you have had a prior sealing or expungement of your criminal record. You cannot be under any kind of court supervision, such as probation. You cannot obtain an expungement if you have entered a guilty plea or no contest plea to one of the many crimes that are ineligible for sealing or expungement.

Certificate of Eligibility

The first step in expungement filing in Tampa is obtaining a certificate of eligibility. You cannot petition to expunge your record unless you have obtained a certificate of eligibility from the FDLE. Before issuing the Certificate, the FDLE will decide whether you are statutorily eligible for expungement. The Certificate will be issued if you satisfy eligibility criteria and are not ineligible based on the crime at issue, you have submitted a written certified statement from an appropriate state attorney or prosecutor that confirms that your criminal history record complies with certain criteria, you have submitted to the FDLE a certified copy of the disposition of the criminal charge to which the petition to expunge pertains, and you have paid the $75 processing fee or gotten a waiver. The Certificate will remain valid for 12 months after the date stamped upon it.

Petition for Expungement

Once you obtain the Certificate of Eligibility, you can petition to expunge your criminal history record. The petition needs to include a valid Certificate of Eligibility from the Department, as well as your sworn statement that you meet the eligibility requirements for expungement and that you are eligible for expungement to the best of your knowledge and do not have another petition to seal or expunge also pending. The information on the sworn statement must be true and accurate. It is a third-degree felony to knowingly provide false information on a sworn statement submitted to obtain an expungement.

A copy of your completed petition shall be served on the correct state attorney or prosecutor and on the arresting agency. The state attorney or prosecutor and the arresting agency can respond to your petition. If the court grants the expungement, the clerk of the court will certify copies of the order to the state attorney or prosecutor and the arresting agency.

Contact a Dedicated Tampa Attorney

Your mistakes do not need to follow you around permanently. Expungement may be a good remedy to seek if you have been arrested and meet the criteria. If you may want to go through the process of expungement filing in Tampa, you should talk to a criminal defense lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we may be able to guide you through this process. Call us at 813.228.7095 or contact us through our online form.

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