Winter Park Expungement Lawyer

The Florida state government significantly expanded the rights of state residents who have been charged with, but not convicted, of a criminal offense to have their case records automatically sealed after enough time has passed. Under certain circumstances, it is also possible to apply for these records to be “expunged,” which further reduces the access that even government-related entities have to the record.

Despite the positive change noted above, getting criminal records sealed or expunged can still be a difficult task, especially without the guidance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. By working closely with a qualified Winter Park expungement lawyer, you could have a better chance of getting the results you want from this process.

How Is Sealing Records Different From Expunging Them?

Florida Statutes § 943.045 provides numerous definitions for terms related to the management and maintenance of criminal records in Florida. That includes what specifically the “sealing” and “expunction” of criminal history records actually entails. Under this statute, “expunction” involves the physical destruction of all records related to a specified criminal case, save for a limited and confidential record to be maintained by the state Department of Law Enforcement. Qualifying government entities can see that a record has been expunged but cannot see any part of the actual record without a subsequent court order.

Conversely, sealed records are still hidden from public view or access for the most part, but certain government entities can still access the records without any information in them being redacted. A Winter Park expungement attorney can explain the practical differences between these actions in more detail during a confidential consultation.

Qualifying Criteria for Expungement in Winter Park

Someone seeking to have a criminal record expunged in Florida must meet all the following criteria:

  • They were not adjudicated guilty or delinquent in the case
  • Their case was either dismissed, nolled, or otherwise did not result in any indictment or charging document being filed
  • They have not previously been adjudicated guilty for any criminal offense or delinquent for certain juvenile offenses
  • They have not previously sought or been granted a sealing or expunction of other cases under Florida law
  • They have no other pending petitions for sealing or expunction of records in any state

Similar, but less strict, requirements apply to application for the sealing of criminal records, as an expungement lawyer in Winter Park could further explain.

It is worth noting that while sealing and expungement are almost always possible in situations where a defendant’s charges were dropped or dismissed by the court, certain offenses cannot be expunged once a plea or verdict has been entered. That is true even if the defendant was ultimately not adjudicated guilty. Ineligible offenses in this regard include most sex crimes, most crimes of violence, stalking, drug manufacturing, and certain types of fraud.

Contact a Winter Park Expungement Attorney for Assistance

The sealing or expungement of records related to a criminal case you were not convicted of can make a huge difference in how you live your life afterward. On top of protecting your professional, educational, and housing options, expungement can also help you move on personally from an unfortunate situation in your past that should not continue to impact you.

A Winter Park expungement lawyer could provide the customized support you may need to get through this process. Call today to schedule a meeting with a team member from The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys.

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    Winter Park Expungement Lawyer