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Sealing and Expunging Criminal Attorneys

Individuals who have found themselves afoul of the law realize the ramifications of having a criminal record. Finding housing, obtaining employment and passing background checks all become a challenge. The State of Florida allows for a one time sealing or expunging of certain criminal offenses from an individual’s criminal record.

Sealing Criminal Records

There is a difference between sealing and expungement. Sealing refers to the public’s ability to have access to a criminal record. Once a record is officially sealed, the case will not be viewable to the public, but certain governmental agencies will still have access to it. Only one arrest or one incident is eligible for sealing. The only exception to this is if the multiple arrests or charges are related to the original arrest. Sealing is permitted when an official charging document (such as an information or an indictment) has been entered into the court file. A defendant seeking a sealing must not have been charged with a non-sealable offense, and must not have been adjudicated guilty of any offense.

Expunging Criminal Records

When a record is expunged, individuals and entities will not have access to the criminal record without a court order. Much like sealing, only one arrest or one incident is eligible for expungment. The exception, of course, is when multiple arrests or charges are related to the original arrest. Expunctions are only permitted if no official charging document (such as an information or indictment) was filed, or if a charging document was filed, was later dismissed by the court or dropped by the State. (such as participation in a pre-trial intervention or diversion program). In no circumstance may a case that went to trial ever be expunged, however it may be eligible for sealing.

It is important to note that there are certain enumerated offenses, which render a defendant ineligible for a sealing or expungement. While it is possible for someone to seek a sealing or expungement on their own, the process is time consuming and confusing, and it is in one’s best interest to contact an attorney who can assist with the process. 

“I used James for a DUI case that I thought was almost hopeless. James and his staff were wonderful. They explained all the steps, the possible outcomes and advised me of everything I should do to help him to prepare the best case. I was astonished and beyond pleased with the outcome. James is truly one of the good guys who cares for his clients and works tirelessly on their behalf. He made a very scary situation so much better.”
HAVE YOU RECENTLY FACED LEGAL ISSUES? WE CAN HELP!
ARRESTED?

Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.


What To Expect When Hiring Our Office

HAVE YOU RECENTLY FACED LEGAL ISSUES? WE CAN HELP!
ARRESTED?

Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.