When you are trying to turn your life around and build a solid foundation for your future, the last thing you want is your criminal record trailing behind you. Having a criminal record can significantly hurt your chances of finding a good job, which can then affect your income. It can even affect your housing options. Instead of learning to accept your criminal record as concrete, find out if you might be eligible to have your criminal record wiped clean.
An expungement will essentially erase your criminal record to any future employers and the public, keeping it concealed from all but all enforcement. However, an expungement is not available to everyone.
Limitations for Expungement
In order to be eligible for expungement in the state of Florida, you must not currently be held under house arrest and cannot be on probation or pretrial release. Some serious offenses are also not eligible for expungement, including violent crimes, sex crimes, and domestic violence. Any offenses for which you entered a plea of guilty of nolo contendere are also ineligible.
Also, in the state of Florida individuals may only have their record expunged once. This means you may only expunge one arrest or a series of arrests connected to the same crime. However, juvenile records expunged through diversion programs may not count as a previous expungement.
Common Circumstances for Expungement
Most individuals who qualify for expungement have already had their case dismissed or dropped. Those with criminal records from juvenile arrests or offenses committed before the age of 18 are also entitled to expungement. It is also important to note that most expungements are granted because there was some inaccuracy in the person’s case. For example, if the criminal record is inaccurate or arrest was a mistake, the person seeking expungement is more likely to be granted what they seek.
If you believe you qualify for expungement, the first step is contacting a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can review your case and determine whether or not you are eligible, and can help you begin the process. Once your attorney determines what type of expungement you need to file for, he or she can help you find the appropriate forms to submit to the court.
Contact Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. to get started on your criminal defense case today.