Even if you are not convicted of any criminal wrongdoing after being arrested, there will still be various records related to your arrest kept by law enforcement and government authorities within the state of Florida. Depending on the charges, these records may be broadly available to the public and will often show up on background checks performed by employers or landlords. This could potentially interfere with your professional and personal life even though you have no actual criminal record to speak of.
Fortunately, you may have a right to have these records sealed or even completely removed by filing a petition with a capable defense attorney’s guidance. If you want to explore your options in this regard, speaking with an Avalon Park expungement lawyer about your concerns should be a top priority.
When someone appeals for, and is granted, an expunction or sealing of records in Florida (the difference between which is discussed in more detail below),the general public will no longer have access to any of those records. This means that employers will not learn about a past allegation of criminal activity and background checks will not highlight those records for landlords or for admission staff in colleges and universities. The person who had their records expunged or sealed does not have to disclose their arrest to any civilian.
Additionally, expunction and sealing of records can help preserve a public reputation and formally close the book on an unfortunate past event. It is worth emphasizing, though, that Florida residents can only petition for expungement or sealing of records only once in their life, so it is always worth discussing the matter with an Avalon Park expungement lawyer before committing to this decision.
When someone has their criminal records sealed in Florida, the records are placed under court-ordered protection, which means they will not be available to the public but can still be accessed confidentially by law enforcement authorities and other authorized government entities. Conversely, expungement involves the records being physically destroyed, with the only remaining records being an extremely limited and confidential one kept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The requirements for getting records sealed are a bit less strict compared to those applicable to expungement, but both require the petitioner to have not been adjudicated guilty or delinquent for the offense in question, and to not have any adjudications of guilt or delinquency for any other charges prior to the one in question. Additionally, there are certain offenses which can never be sealed or expunged unless the charges were dismissed or dropped, including but not limited to:
An expungement lawyer in Avalon Park could go into further detail during a confidential consultation about the prerequisites for each type of proceeding.
Expungement can be invaluable to people who have a single blemish on an otherwise unmarked criminal record. However, there are also many conditions and restrictions on this unique legal proceeding. Individuals without skilled legal representation on their side tend to have a difficult time getting a positive outcome from it.
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