Criminal and arrest records are public information that anyone who is interested in seeing, can access. With the increase in technology and simplicity involved in requesting this information, those with a record are vulnerable to adverse effects they have never thought about. This includes being ineligible for certain types of jobs and industries and having those you would rather not know about your past having full access to what is most likely your worst moments in life.
Considering the countless issues that can arise from having a permanent record, finding options and avenues with which to get rid of this incriminating and embarrassing information is vital in moving on with your life. The most efficient and timely way to do this is to begin working with a criminal defense attorney who understands the process involved and can lead you through the steps and get you record sealed or expunged.
With technology, it seems that none of our personal information is private anymore. With criminal histories, a simple visit to a state website can reveal this information with one click of the mouse. Considering the negative ramifications that can transpire because of this, sealing or expunging your criminal record will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also allow you to focus on moving forward instead of worrying about the past.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC are experienced in the record sealing procedure and can get you started right away on erasing the past mistakes that you have already paid for. With a strict adherence to proving great client service, the firm can be counted on to move you through this process in a timely and effective manner. They will inform you of the steps involved and will make certain that you know exactly what needs to be done.
To schedule a risk-free consultation to discuss if you are eligible to get your Florida criminal record sealed or expunged, call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message. The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC proudly represent individuals throughout Eastern and Central Florida, including the cities of Melbourne, Orlando, Winter Park, Deltona, Daytona Beach, Sanford, Winter Springs, Fellsmere, Kissimmee and Saint Cloud, among many others.
Although many believe that the two terms are one and the same, they each have different purposes and end results. As for record sealing, the goal of the process is literally sealing your record without destroying it. Sealing your record means that your record (police, state attorney, other agencies, and court records) are physically sealed and put away in a vault so that no one without a court order may have access to them.
Your information regarding the charge is removed from the Criminal Information Justice System (CJIS) and the record won't show up in any background check relating to you. After 10 years of having your record sealed, you may ask the Court to expunge (destroy) the record. If you took a plea and received a withhold of adjudication you can only seal your record assuming you qualify.
Expunging a record means that the record which is expunged is physically destroyed. Only one copy of your record is retained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and that copy is not viewable by anyone without Court order. No agency is allowed to say that you even had a record sealed or expunged or the person divulging the information may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. Also, information regarding the charge expunged is removed from CJIS (Criminal Justice Information System) so that it doesn't come up on any background checks.
To begin the process of sealing or expunging your record, a sworn statement by the petitioner is required, attesting that the petitioner:
When it comes down to the process itself, once an order has been issued by the court to Seal or Expunge your criminal history record and a certified copy has been received by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), they will then seal or expunge the criminal history record. Once the FDLE seals or expunges the criminal history record, a letter notifying the arresting agency involved in your case will be sent by the FDLE. The notification letter expressly informs the arresting agency that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement received and complied with the order in accordance with the Florida Statutes relating to sealing or expunging records.
Once the court grants an order to Seal or Expunge your criminal history record, the Clerk of the Court certifies a copy of the court order to the State Attorney’s Office and the arresting agency. The arresting agency is then responsible for sending a certified copy of the court order to all agencies that are known to have received the criminal history information. In addition to the FDLE, these agencies may include the Department of Corrections, Teen Courts, Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement – This site contains all the relevant information concerning record sealing and expunging a criminal history in the state of Florida. Included is links and resources of instructions for applying for a certificate of eligibility, applications for juvenile diversion expunction, reasons for denial and frequently asked questions.
If you or a loved one currently has a criminal arrest record that you would like to seal or expunge, then working with the experienced and qualified criminal defenses attorneys at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC would be in your best interest.
With years of experience helping those who have paid for their crimes and want to erase this history by sealing their records has given the legal team the knowledge and strong comprehension of the procedure to efficiently guide you through this complex process.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over your case in detail, call (321) 253-3447. The legal team proudly represents individuals accused of criminal acts throughout Brevard County, Orange County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Indian River County and Osceola County.