To seal or expunge criminal records is to remove a criminal charge from your public record.
The primary difference between sealed records and expunged records is that an expunged record is harder to obtain than a sealed record. When a criminal record is sealed, the record is no longer public information. When your criminal history is checked, the public will not have access to sealed records. However, some government agencies will continue to have access to your complete criminal record. When a criminal record is expunged, only one copy is retained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement but unless there is a court order, it is not accessible. The government agencies that have access to sealed records will only be able to see that records have been expunged but not the information held within the records.
If looking to have criminal records sealed or expunged, a legal consultation is in your best interest. If your past is weighing you down, consult a criminal defense attorney today to see about the possibility of either having your records sealed or expunged.
The law regulating sealed and expunged records is determined at the time you petition at court. While the offense committed may have been eligible to either have your records sealed or expunged at the time of the offense in the past, you may be prohibited from doing so now due to a change in the law.
The current Florida statutes regarding which records may be sealed or expunged is constantly being amended. The statute regarding expungement has been amended at least seven times since 1992. The sealing statute has been amended six times since 1992. If you wait to seek legal counsel on this matter, you are risking the chance that your records will become impossible to seal or expunge.
The laws which govern whether criminal history records may be expunged or sealed include Florida Statutes Sections 943.0585 and 943.059.
Determining whether records can be expunged or sealed is a lengthy and oftentimes overwhelming process. BJE Law, P.A. can dissect your criminal record with you to see what may or may not be eligible for expungement or sealing. We will walk you through the process of filing to either have your records expunged or sealed.
If you have a criminal record that is negatively affecting your life, be it eligibility to rent an apartment or other aspects of your life, expungement or sealing of your past criminal records may be in your best interest. This increases educational and employment opportunities depending on the criminal record. Past decisions may be affecting your life in a negative way, contact BJE Law, P.A. today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your past criminal records. We are happy to help walk you through the many steps of filing for expungement or to have criminal records sealed.