expungement explained


If you have a criminal record in Florida, you may already be aware of how this has effected your life. Criminal arrests and convictions are official public records, which means they are ultimately available to anyone.

For most practical purposes, this wasn't always a big deal. In the past, for someone to look up your Florida criminal history, they'd have to go down to a courthouse, or wherever your record is held, fill out a form, and a clerk would have to dig through some dusty old files to get you a copy.

But all that has changed with online recordkeeping. Not only are your records all on computers with the state of Florida, but those records are shared, and bought and sold in the marketplace.

Criminal background checks are quick and cheap. And they are big business, too. There are dozens of online agents who will run a criminal background check for next to nothing.

And, ultimately, it is easy to imagine a very near future where your criminal record will pop right up on any simple Google search.

How Does Having a Criminal Record Affect Me?

Probably in ways you aren't even aware of. That's the thing about these quick, easy, and cheap criminal background checks. People do them all the time now.

After a great job interview, you may wonder why you didn't get the job offer you expected. Or you may never get a call back at all - large companies may contract for access to these databases and do a check on people before even bringing them in to talk.

It can affect you in your local community, too. It could be neighbors, or local community officials. You could be denied the ability to coach a kids basketball team or be a scoutmaster.

The bottom line is that you very possibly won't ever know what people are saying, or what doesn't happen.

What Can I do to Hide or Seal an Old Florida Criminal Conviction?

I will go over the eligibility rules for expungement with you.

If you have an offense on your record that is eligible, then I will prepare the proper paperwork to request a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement from the Florida Deptartment of Law Enforcement.

When that certificate is approved and received, I will file a Petition to Expunge or Seal with the state.

If there are hearings necessary, I will attend your expungement hearing to defend your right to have your criminal record cleared.

The process isn't usually complicated, but the state government isn't always helpful or cooperative in getting this done. An attorney handling the expungement process can make sure the paperwork goes through cleanly and properly the first time. And we can advise you of your rights in this matter.

In any legal matter, what your attorney is there for is to protect and fight for you, above any and all other considerations. The Florida criminal justice system can be hostile or indifferent to what is critical to you. And a quick, proper and legal expungement of a past criminal mistake can be key to the future you deserve.


If you are in need of an attorney with expungement experience, contact www.marybethcorn.com for a free consulation today.


The material on this page represents general legal advice. Since the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained here may be out of date. It is always best to consult a criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.