Have you been arrested? Convicted of a crime? If so, you should know that your criminal records are very accessible. With today’s computer technology, a click of the mouse allows agencies, employers and others to get instant access to your past.
If you’re looking to obtain employment or move into a rental property, having a criminal record can impact your chances. Even with letters of recommendation or proof that you’ve gotten your life back on track, employers and landlords will not act in your favor. When that happens, the only thing you can do is to expunge your record.
Why You Should Expunge Your Record
Before you consider applying to a college or university, for an academic scholarship, for a car or 乐福彩票网 loan, to rent a 乐福彩票网 or apartment, or for a new job, it’s important to know that more and more people are requiring extensive credit and criminal background checks to eliminate those deemed not to be credible applicants. There are more people applying than there are jobs, scholarships, etc. Therefore, universities, corporations, finance companies and credit companies can afford to be selective when determining who is the most credible applicant. If you do not choose to expunge your record, chances are you will quickly be put on the short list for denial and face roadblocks when it comes to accomplishing many of your life goals.
FAQ: Sealing and Expungement
Expunging a criminal record is a lengthy process that consists of many steps. To learn more about the process and what expungement means, consider some of the most commonly asked questions on the topic:
- What does a criminal record consist of?
- Can a criminal record be cleared, sealed, destroyed or expunged?
- What does sealing criminal records accomplish?
- What is expungement?
- How does my arrest affect me?
- Can all criminal charges be sealed or expunged?
- How does the sealing or expungement process work?
- How long will the sealing or expungement process take?
- How do I start the process?
If after reading through these commonly asked questions you still don’t have the answer you’re looking for, contact the attorneys at Umansky Law Firm. They’re always more than happy to answer your legal questions and determine whether or not their services are right for you.
Can a Criminal Record Be Cleared, Sealed, Destroyed or Expunged?
A criminal record is a history of arrest, arraignment, pleading (claims of not guilty or no contest), criminal charging affidavit, and all documentation that is held in any clerk’s office, judicial branch or law enforcement agency’s files regarding the case.
Certain charges can be cleared or cleansed from one’s criminal record through the legal process known as sealing or expungement. Arrests that result in the finding of adjudication of guilt withheld (meaning they can be sealed and thus removed from public records) are subject to certain statutory exceptions.
A recently signed House bill expanded eligibility for immediate court-ordered “expunction” (destruction) in cases where a person has been acquitted by a judge or has had a verdict of not guilty rendered by a judge or jury. This new development allows an individual to bypass the requirement under former law that such a record must first be sealed for 10 years. Under former law, immediate expunction was also available only if all charges were dismissed before trial. explains the matter further.
Other existing eligibility requirements for expungement remain in place: only those who have had no prior convictions or expungements are eligible, and those charged with violent or sex offenses are ineligible. These changes were made effective October 1, 2018.
What Does Sealing Criminal Records Accomplish?
The process of sealing one’s criminal records is not a complete erasure of the files but, rather, seals or closes the file from public view.
What is Expungement?
The process of expungement of criminal records removes the arrest record from being a public record. An expunged record is no longer visible when a background check has been completed. Expungement is usually the best way to guarantee that a past mistake does not come back to haunt you.
How Does My Arrest Affect Me?
In any arrest that results in a dismissal or nolle prosequi (where the state has dropped the case), the record can be expunged as long as you have never been adjudicated guilty or delinquent for another charge.
Remember, a potential employer, college, university, credit company, etc. can easily obtain your criminal record or history. Law enforcement agencies such as police, county, court, clerk’s offices, prosecutorial agencies and the FBI maintain criminal histories. Many of these records are now available to the public, via the Internet. If your criminal record is sealed or expunged, then you may be legally allowed to say that the conviction or arrest never occurred on job applications, rental applications or for many other purposes.
A single charge or arrest can have a devastating impact to your career and future, especially if you are between jobs, seeking a promotion at your job, applying for new employment, applying for colleges, universities and/or post-graduate schools.
Can All Criminal Charges Be Sealed Or Expunged?
No. Not all criminal charges can be sealed or expunged. Most misdemeanors and some felonies can be sealed or expunged. Please call us at 407-228-3838 so one of our attorneys can give you advice on whether your charges are eligible to be sealed or expunged.
How Does The Sealing or Expungement Process Work?
After we determine that your charges qualify for sealing or expungement, our office prepares an application, which is presented to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), along with your fingerprint card. FDLE will run a background check to make a final determination that you qualify for a sealing or expungement.
Once it has determined you qualify, FDLE will prepare a Certificate of Eligibility, and send it to us. Upon receipt, we prepare a Petition or Motion to file with the court, with copies going to the appropriate prosecutor’s office, along with copies to the other law enforcement agencies that maintain your criminal history information.
In many instances, the judge will grant the Motion or Petition without scheduling a hearing requiring you to appear in court. In some instances, however, the judge may require a hearing, and a date is scheduled to appear before the judge. At the hearing, the judge will consider the specific facts and circumstances of your case, and in your life, review your records to ensure you have successfully completed your sentence, and investigate whether any new arrests or criminal convictions have been added to your record.
The judge will also listen to both the prosecutor’s position and your attorney’s arguments, before deciding whether to grant the sealing or expungement petition.
How Long Will the Sealing or Expungement Process Take?
The sealing or expungement process can take, on average, anywhere from two to nine months to complete. It’s not possible to provide an exact or definite time, since the process is dependent upon several factors. Please call us at 407-228-3838 so that one of our attorneys can assist you.
Expungement Assistance in Orlando, FL
There’s no better time than today to get started on the process of expunging your record. Remember, your future is at stake.
The lawyer乐福彩票网s at Umansky Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined experience and have been recognized in . If anyone understands exactly what it takes to get your record expunged, they can.
Contact our lawyer乐福彩票网s and staff at The Umansky Law Firm by calling 407-228-3838 or filling out our online contact form to discuss your case and set an appointment for a free review.. If you qualify for expungement, we can assist you in sealing or expunging your criminal record, and you may not even have to make a court appearance. Let’s get started today!