If you are looking to get your record cleared after a running with the law in Jacksonville, FL, there may still be a chance. Having a record can have detrimental consequences on your everyday life, it may be difficult to impossible to get a job in some fields, like medical, government, teaching, or handling money. In addition, it may be a roadblock to finding housing and even purchasing a firearm.
There are several instances where the records can be sealed or expunged, juvenile records are usually confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, unless the juvenile has committed a crime that would’ve been charged as a felony, they were an adult.
It’s important to know that sealing or expunging a record is not something that it’s up to you or your criminal defense lawyer to decide, this is either something you qualify for or not. You could either qualify for an expungement or a sealing of records, or you could qualify for neither. Therefore, it is important to hire a competent criminal defense lawyer to help you figure out the best course of action for your specific situation. Contact us to take advantage of our free consultation to assess whether you or your loved one qualifies for one of these options.
Please bear in mind that expungement of a record can only be done once in a lifetime, there may be a situation where more than one record could be expunged in a single proceeding, but that is up to the Court’s discretion if they can find the arrests in question were directly related. A record that is initially ineligible for expungement, may become eligible after 10 years, however, the same rule still applies, you can only proceed with expungement once in a lifetime. There are some cases where sealing and expungement are not options, these are cases where you were convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile.
Although it’s not required for you to have an attorney when requesting sealing or expungement of your records, it is recommended to hire an experienced attorney given the complexities that could arise. Our criminal defense lawyers in Jacksonville, FL have over 20 years of experience handling criminal defense charges including expungements, give us a call now for your free consultation.
It is also important to note there is a difference between expungement and sealing of records:
Is completely removing the record from your history, all records are destroyed. To qualify for an expungement your case should have been resolved in one of these ways:
- The charges against you were dropped, dismissed or you were acquitted of all charges by a judge or a jury, and
- You have never been convicted before of a criminal offense in the state of Florida, and
- All juvenile felonies and specific misdemeanors that ended up in an adjunction of delinquency have been automatically expunged, and
- You have never sealed or expunged another record in the state of Florida before
Means the record still exists, but it’s confidential, and only available to the subject of the record, their attorney, criminal justice agencies for their specific purposes, which include background checks for firearm purchases or transfers as authorized by state of federal law. To qualify for sealing record in Florida, your case should have been resolved as follows:
- You plead “guilty” or “no contest” and the court withheld the adjudication of guilt, or
- You were found “guilty” after trial and the Court “Withheld” the adjunction of guilt, and
- The offense(s) you were found guilty of is/are not prohibited from being sealed
- You have never been convicted of a crime in Florida
- Any juvenile felonies and misdemeanors that resulted in an adjudication of delinquency have been automatically expunged
- You have never expunged or sealed a past arrest in the state of Florida
Give us a call today for your free consultation, your past mistakes don’t necessarily need to affect your future. Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience successfully handling criminal defense cases in the state of Florida with ample experience practicing in Duval, Clay County, and other surrounding areas. Don’t hesitate, call us now, or fill out the form on this page.
Here are some additional legal resources in the Jacksonville area to help you navigate your legal situation.