Your Guide To Expungement Of Criminal Records In Florida
Being arrested and charged with a crime is stressful for many different reasons. It could even cost you your clean criminal record. A criminal record can make it more difficult to get a job or even to rent an apartment. There is some good news: You may be able to seal certain criminal records from public view. Within this article, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer provides a guide to the expungement of criminal records in Florida.
Understanding the Paths to Expunging/Sealing Criminal Records in Florida
In Florida, there are two distinct options for making criminal records inaccessible. Expungement effectively erases a criminal record. The second, sealing, essentially restricts the criminal record from public view. There are four state statutes pertaining to expungement/sealing of criminal records in Florida. Here is an overview of the four different paths:
- Administrative: Florida Statutes § 943.0581 governs the administrative expungement of criminal records. In effect, this law gives people the ability to expunge (erase) wrongful criminal records. For example, if you were arrested on false grounds, you can take administrative action to get that record erased.
- Court-Ordered: Florida Statutes § 943.0585 pertains to the court-ordered sealing of criminal records. Certain convictions can be expunged/sealed through a court petition. To petition for expungement, you will first need a Certificate of Eligibility’ from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
- Juvenile: Florida Statutes § 943.0582 controls the expungement of juvenile records. In Florida, it is far easier to get juvenile records sealed or expunged. If you were arrested and charged with a crime as a juvenile, make sure you take action to seal your records.
- Human Trafficking Victim: Finally, Florida has a specialized expungement process for human trafficking victims. Under Florida Statutes § 943.0583, victims of human trafficking have additional ability to get records sealed. An attorney can help you navigate the process.
An Attorney Can Help You Take Action to Seal/Expunge Criminal Records
Dealing with criminal records is complicated. Indeed, it is not uncommon for people to think that their records are sealed only to find out that they are still visible to the public. It is crucial that you work with an experienced Florida expungement attorney. Your lawyer will be able to review the specific circumstances of your case, explain all of the available options, and help you take action to expunge or seal your criminal records to the maximum extent available under the law.
Contact Our Orlando, FL Expungement Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Florida expungement lawyers are standing by, ready to help you find the best solution to seal or erase your criminal records. If you have any questions about the expungement of criminal records in Florida, our legal team is here to help. Contact us now for a fully confidential initial case review. With a legal office located in Orlando, our firm is well-positioned to handle expungement cases in Orange County and throughout all of Central Florida.