Boca Raton Expunging and Sealing Criminal Records Attorney
One mistake in your past should not keep you from achieving your goals and being treated fairly by employers and landlords in the future. Fortunately, there is a way to get that second chance in Florida. Depending on the circumstances of your prior offenses, you may be eligible to have your criminal records expunged or sealed.
Sealing of Criminal Records vs. Expungement
Sealing criminal records is different from having them expunged. When an individual’s criminal record is sealed, the public cannot access it. That means it’s hidden from employers, landlords, and any other non-government entities. However, certain government groups and agencies can still access the individual’s criminal record. When a criminal record is expunged, even those government groups cannot access the individual’s record. They can see that a record does exist, but cannot view it without a court order.
Benefits of Sealing or Expunging Criminal Records
A criminal record can present problems for an individual when he or she seeks employment, housing, and other opportunities that require applicants to submit to a criminal background check. In short, it’s a second chance for individuals with criminal records to clean their slate and live within the confines of the law. Chapter 11C-7 of the Florida Administrative Code details the procedure and requirements for expunging and sealing a criminal record in Florida.
In most circumstances, any individual who has not been found guilty of a crime as an adult and has not previously expunged or sealed his or her criminal record may qualify to have his or her record sealed or expunged. There are certain crimes that cannot be removed from one’s criminal record, though. They are as follows:
- Any conviction of a misdemeanor or felony as an adult;
- Any conviction of arson, battery, cruelty to animals, assault, concealed carry of a weapon, neglect of children, or unlawful use of bombs or other weapons as a juvenile;
- A seal or expungement currently pending for another offense;
- Any unsatisfied court-ordered financial obligation such as a fine or restitution payment; and
- Any prior sealing or expungement from another state other than the automatic sealing of juvenile records or sealed records of arrests made by mistake.
Additionally, an individual may not remove a record if he or she was convicted of the specific charge.
Also note that in Florida, all juvenile criminal records are expunged at age 24 or 26, depending on the individual’s criminal record and arrest history as an adult.
Our Boca Raton Sealing Criminal Records Attorneys Can Help
If you are interested in sealing or expunging your criminal record, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with an attorney who knows the process and can work on your behalf to have the court seal or expunge your record. Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. can work through this process with you. Although it can be a confusing, difficult process, removing an arrest from your criminal record can be one of the smartest choices you make, and it will help you greatly in the future. Call Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. today at 561-395-0000 to get started on the sealing or expunging process today.