Expungement is the process by which a court orders a record of an arrest or to be "sealed," or erased from the eyes of the law. It's also known as setting aside a criminal conviction. Whether or not you qualify for expungement depends on several factors, the largest being your state. Different states have varying laws regarding which people are eligible.
What Kind of Expungement Do You Need?
First and foremost, in order to know whether or not you qualify for expungement, you need to determine what kind you need. For example, someone who was convicted of a crime as a minor would need a Juvenile Arrest Record Expungement. That sort of record must be sealed as quickly as possible before the information about your arrest can be sold to private companies who pass the details of your record on to hiring companies, apartments, and other organizations who make background checks. Other types of expungements include:
- Mistaken Arrest Record
- Inaccurate Criminal Record
- Criminal Records
Out of these 3 possible expungements, 2 are easily solved with a bit of paperwork. Mistaken arrest records happen when the police mistake you for someone else with the same name and arrest you. Similarly, inaccurate criminal records occur when your record shows an arrest or several arrests when you have never been arrested to begin with. The last kind of expungement is the most difficult.
Requirements for Expungement
In order to determine whether or not you can expunge your record, you must meet these criteria:
- You must not have been convicted of the crime
- You must not have any other expunged or sealed criminal records
- You must not have been accused of a serious offense, such as sexual predation, fraud, or violating the terms of pretrial detention and release
- You must submit a petition to expunge a criminal history record
- You must have a valid certificate of eligibility for expungement
Expunging a criminal record can be a highly complicated process. Call one of our experienced Florida criminal defense attorneys to help you with the petition. Everyone deserves a second chance. Let us help you get yours today. Contact us at (888) 484-5057 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.