Who May Access Sealed and Expunged Records
Individuals who have a criminal record and would like to be freed from the restraints of possessing such a record are ideal candidates for having their records sealed or expunged. There is a sharp contrast, however, between sealed and expunged records.
Sealed records still exist, but they are out of the public view. When employers perform a background check, your sealed record will not come up. There also isn’t any notification of you having your record sealed, it merely shows that there is no record there (only if you have all offenses sealed). With an expungement, conversely, your criminal record is erased. There is no legal or physical record of your criminal offense when you have it expunged.
Offenses that Cannot be Sealed or Expunged
All cases that were dropped, dismissed, or never filed by the state attorney are eligible for being sealed or expunged. Cases that you were found not guilty can only be sealed and not expunged. In Florida, there are particular offenses in which you cannot have expunged or sealed. These include:
- Luring or enticing a child
- Sexual battery
- Drug trafficking
- Selling or buying of minors
- Computer pornography (child related)
- Aircraft piracy
- Home invasion robbery
- Stalking and aggravated stalking
- … and many more
Who Can See Sealed or Expunged Records in Florida?
Not everyone is allowed access to sealed and expunged records whenever they may want them. Under Florida law, an individual with a sealed or expunged criminal record may keep his or her records private, with a few exceptions.
In the following situations, a person’s sealed record may have made available to certain entities. These entities may also be alerted if certain records have been expunged:
- If someone is a defendant in a criminal prosecution
- If someone is a candidate for employment in a criminal justice agency
- If someone is seeking to be employed with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Department of Juvenile Justice.
- If someone is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education
- If someone is attempting to purchase a firearm
- If someone is seeking authorization from a Florida seaport
Expungement as a Potential Option
In order to determine whether or not someone is eligible for expungement of criminal records, the individual must divulge a completed history of prior arrests and all other charges. It must be determined that none of the prior arrests led to a conviction or that the individual was found delinquent as a juvenile. Finally, the prior arrest must not fall under a “dangerous crime” as enumerated in Florida Statute § 907.041(4)(a).
Sealing or Expunging Records in Orlando
If you have questions about sealing or expunging your records, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore your options. If you find yourself eligible for this type of process, we would be glad to assist. The knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can look into your criminal history and make you aware of what charges you may be able to seal or expunge and pursue the necessary course of legal action. We have served the Central Florida area for over 20 years and are prepared to take your case. As former prosecutors, trying hundreds of cases in Florida, our attorneys are able to see each case from a unique perspective unbeknown to most local law firms. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.