You may not realize it, but even if your case was dropped or dismissed before going to trial, you still have a criminal record. Your record is created the moment you are formally arrested, which means that your criminal history would be available to the public even if you were never convicted. Not only can law enforcement access these records, but future employers could also stumble across this information in a basic background check. Fortunately, your arrest record doesn’t have to haunt you for life.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may qualify to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. Once your record has been expunged, not even a government agency can access it without a court order. If you are interested in exploring this option, don't wait to consult a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. Not only have we handled thousands of criminal cases, but we are available to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Contact our office now for a free consultation.
What is the difference between record sealing & expungement?
Although these processes are very similar, record sealing differs from expungement in that the record won’t be completely destroyed. Your file can still be accessed by certain government agencies after it has been sealed, but your criminal history would not be viewable to the public (including future employers). On the other hand, having your record expunged would mean that all information about the arrest will be destroyed.
Not even a government agency could access your criminal record once it has been expunged. Essentially, it would be as if the arrest never happened. Whether your record is expunged or sealed, however, you generally won’t be required to disclose any information about the arrest thereafter. If you haven’t taken steps to destroy or seal your arrest record, you may be required to share this information with a future employer.
Understanding the Eligibility Requirements in Florida
Only certain arrests will qualify for expungement in the state of Florida. To see if you qualify, you can learn more by reading Florida Statute § 943.0585 or contacting one of our criminal attorneys in Fort Lauderdale. The legal team at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. would be happy to discuss your options in a free consultation.
Some of the basic eligibility requirements for expunction include:
- You have not been convicted of additional crimes
- You have not sealed or expunged your record in the past
- You are not on probation or court-ordered supervision
- Your specific criminal charge can be expunged
You Can Only Have Your Records Expunged Once
In the state of Florida, you would only qualify for expunction once. This means that you could only request to have one arrest, or a series of arrests related to a single offense, expunged or sealed. If your juvenile record was previously expunged through a diversion program, however, you may still qualify. Furthermore, false arrests may be administratively expunged without having to use your one chance at expunction. If you need help determining whether or not you qualify, please give us a call.
Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. Can Help You Through the Process
If your criminal history is looming over you like a dark cloud, it’s time to see what options are available to you. Don’t last your past mistakes dictate your future – pair up with an experienced criminal lawyer from Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. who can help you fight for a second chance. We have already helped thousands of clients, and we are ready to do the same for you. Contact our office today or fill out a free case evaluation form online!