It can be difficult to be arrested or charged with a crime. Criminal records are public, which means that their existence can affect your social reputation and your relationship with a prospective landlord, school, or employer. Record sealing and expungement may be remedies for which you are eligible, and they come in several forms. If you are hoping to obtain expungement or sealing in Florida, you should consult the experienced Florida expungement lawyers at Hanlon Law. William Hanlon and Nick Chotos have sealed and expunged thousands of criminal records for people throughout Florida. We know how much difference getting a record expunged or sealed can make to a client’s life.Court-Ordered Expungement
Court-ordered expungement is one of the most commonly sought forms of expungement. It may be obtained under section 943.0585. This relief is useful because it allows you to lawfully deny or not acknowledge the record that has been expunged in most situations. However, not every criminal record is eligible for expungement, and you can apply for expungement or record sealing only once.
You can petition for court-ordered expungement if you were not charged through an indictment, information, or other charging document in connection with the record. You can also petition if no charging document was filed, or if it was dismissed or if nolle prosequi was granted by the state attorney or prosecutor. You can also seek an expungement if the court rendered a judgment of acquittal, you were found not guilty, or the charge was dismissed by the court. Our Florida expungement attorneys have many years of experience obtaining these remedies. We can advise you on whether you are eligible for a court-ordered expungement and guide you through the application. The first step is to obtain a certificate of eligibility, which is a technical process that requires close attention to detail.Record Sealing
Record sealing is governed by section 943.059. You may be eligible for record sealing if you have not been adjudicated guilty of a crime or adjudicated delinquent for committing a felony or certain misdemeanors. There is an exception if the record of adjudication of delinquency was expunged. Your records will not be destroyed if they are sealed, but they will no longer be accessible to the public. They will remain accessible to various governmental agencies, as well as the military and the police. Even so, you can lawfully deny the record in most situations. We have gotten many clients’ records sealed, and we can advise you on whether you may be eligible for record sealing and represent you during this process.Administrative Expungement
If you were arrested mistakenly, or if your arrest was contrary to law, an expungement lawyer at our Florida firm may be able to get it administratively expunged under section 943.0581. Administrative expungement is a rarely sought form of relief that is available to people who were arrested by mistake or illegally. For the application, you can provide an endorsement from the head of the arresting agency or the state attorney of the judicial circuit where the arrest happened. If this is not available, you will need an order from the court finding that the arrest was mistaken or unlawful.Other Types of Expungement
Other types of expungement that could be available, depending on your specific circumstances, include lawful self-defense expungement and human trafficking expungement. For example, if the state attorney or prosecutor certifies that you acted in lawful self-defense under the code section related to the justifiable use of force, and charges were not filed or were dismissed, you can apply for a lawful self-defense certificate of eligibility. Juvenile diversion program expungement and early juvenile expungement may be available as well.Hire a Knowledgeable Florida Attorney to Clean Your Record
If you have a criminal record in Florida, you may find it difficult to secure housing, a job, admission to a university, or a professional license. However, you may be eligible for expungement or sealing of your record. It is important to talk to an experienced expungement attorney in Florida about your situation. At Hanlon Law, we have expunged and sealed thousands of criminal records across the state. Call us at 800.373.1974 or contact us through our online form.