Getting a Record Expunged
If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you know that your criminal record follows you around and rears its ugly head in any number of circumstances. The pesky background check that so many organizations perform can reveal things about your past that no longer reflect who you are today. A criminal record can interfere with your ability to get a job, maintain professional certifications, obtain housing, and even develop relationships. But what if it were possible to erase that record altogether? Juveniles and those convicted of white collar crimes can benefit from having records sealed, and, ultimately, expunged. A local criminal attorney can help you with this.
When a criminal record is expunged, it is either completely erased or it is sealed, meaning the offense officially never happened. In the event the record is erased, all documentation related to the crime will be removed from the database. If it is sealed, the information may be available to law enforcement, but no one else. Oftentimes a record may be sealed for 10 years, and will be eligible for complete expungement at that time.
Types of Expungement
Varying circumstances are viewed differently by the courts, and different pathways to expungement exist. Each requires authorization from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE):
- Early Juvenile Expungement: If you are between the ages of 18 and 21 and have not been found guilty of any criminal offenses within the previous five years, you may appeal to the prosecuting attorney for an expungement.
- Juvenile Diversion Expungement: If you have participated in a misdemeanor juvenile diversion program and successfully completed it, this may be an option for you;
- Automatic Juvenile Expungement: If, as a juvenile you accrued a criminal history but were not incarcerated and have now turned 21, your record will automatically be expunged. Likewise, if you were sentenced to a correctional facility for juveniles and are now 26, if you have not received forcible felony charges as an adult, your juvenile record will be expunged.
- Lawful Self-Defense Expungement: In the event you used force in self-defense, your charges may be expunged if the state attorney certifies that you acted lawfully.
- Human Trafficking Expungement: If you were a victim of a human trafficking plot and were charged with crimes associated with the scheme, you may petition to have those charges expunged.
- Administrative Expungement: In the event you were erroneously arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you may apply for an expungement.
There are a number of offenses that are ineligible for expungement as per Florida law 943.059, including assault, battery, weapons charges, sexual charges, crimes against children, arson, and cruelty to animals.
Start the Process
It is estimated to take about three months from the time the paperwork is filed for the expungement to occur. If you are eligible for it, getting started right away is in your best interest. A qualified and experienced Kissimmee expungement attorney at the law firm of Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. can assist you. Schedule a free, confidential consultation in our office today.