New Port Richey Expungement Lawyers

Clear Your Name with Experienced Legal Services

There are many crimes that can really hurt a person both in the moment and also in the future. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time because no one has perfect judgment at all times. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant, real-life consequences that could accompany such mistakes.

If you have been accused of committing a crime, it will likely remain on your permanent record. Even if you were found innocent, the crime will still show up when a background search is made into your history. The only way to get around this is to have your record expunged.  

The process of expunging your record is something that an experienced legal service agency can tackle for you. If you are looking for an attorney in the New Port Richey area that specializes in expungement services, Musca Law Firm should be at the top of your list. Our attorneys take the time to get the best possible results with each and every case we take on! We have handled numerous expungement cases successfully, and we know the multiple steps to take as well as what outcome to expect in these cases. 

If you have any concerns or questions about what the expungement process is, our firm will answer your phone calls 24 hours per day to help you get the answers you need. Don’t hesitate to contact our New Port Richey office at (727) 480-9675 today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Expungement Vs. Sealing Records

There are various steps that will need to be taken in order to have your criminal record either expunged or sealed. However, in order for this to happen, you will need to have an experienced lawyer on your side who has dealt with numerous criminal cases before. This attorney will be able to help you decide if you should petition to have your record expunged or petition to have your record sealed.  

When an individual has their record expunged, the offender’s criminal history will be removed off the record. Alternatively, when an individual has their record sealed, the offender’s records will have restricted access. 

No matter which procedure you decide upon, the offender must comply with all the requirements that are stated in the Florida Statutes and Rules of Procedure. In order to initiate the process, the offender will need to apply for eligibility. After a certificate of eligibility has been received, the offender can continue on in the process. It’s important to note that various factors can determine the outcome of the case, such as the type of offense committed and/or if there were multiple arrests made, etc.

Expungement of Criminal Records

All adult records are made public unless they have been sealed or expunged. The only way for a person to have their records expunged is to apply for it. Florida courts will not begin the process unless a person is eligible.  

Criminal Charges That Do Not Qualify For Expungement

There are certain criminal charges that do not qualify for expungement per Section 907.041, Florida Statutes, including the following:

  • Arson
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Battery
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Burglary of a dwelling
  • Stalking and Aggravated Stalking
  • Act of Domestic Violence as defined in Section 741.28 F.S.
  • Home-invasion Robbery
  • Act of Terrorism as defined by Section 775.30 F.S.
  • Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893
  • Attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes
  • Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years
  • Human Trafficking
  • Illegal use of explosives
  • Child abuse or Aggravated Child Abuse

Other criminal charges that are not allowed for expungement, but are listed in other sections of the Florida Statutes include:

  • Sexual misconduct with a developmentally disabled person and related offenses
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Sexual misconduct with a mental health patient and related offenses
  • Procuring person under 18 for prostitution
  • Showing, selling, etc., obscene literature to minor
  • Computer pornography
  • Sexual misconduct with a mentally deficient or mentally ill defendant and related offenses
  • Act of terrorism as defined in s. 775.30
  • Manufacturing any substances in violation of Chapter 893, Florida Statutes
  • Attempting or conspiring to commit any such crime

Benefits of Expunging a Record

There are many benefits of having a record expunged. These include the following:

  • Defending an individual’s criminal past from the community’s view
  • Averting detection of an unlawful event by employers
  • Bypassing discovery of an unlawful episode by colleges and universities
  • Preserving an individual from having to disclose an arrest or charge to future employers and other persons of interest
  • Preventing a record from being found during a background check
  • Circumventing workplace policies that stop advancement for employees with criminal backgrounds
  • Protecting a person’s reputation in the community
  • Peace of mind and closure in the person who committed the crime

Process of Expungement of a Criminal Record In New Port Richey

Per Florida State’s Statutes, only those that have applied for expungement will be allowed to complete the process. The process will begin once the offender has the eligibility certificate and gives a sworn statement that attests to the following:

  • There have not been any additional crimes that the petitioner has committed or been found guilty of.
  • The petitioner has not been found guilty of any misdemeanor before the date that the certificate was filled.  
  • The petitioner has not settled any other legal case for any crimes that have been similar in nature to the one that has been listed on the certificate of eligibility for expungement. 
  • The petitioner has not filed another petition unless he or she is looking to have records expunged that took place 10 years ago.  
  • The petitioner has not filled any other expungements and is fully eligible to have their record expunged.  

How to Receive a Certificate of Eligibility for Crime Expungement in New Port Richey

The following steps have been set forth by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to obtain a certificate stating they are eligible for criminal expungement in New Port Richey:

Sealing of Criminal Records

Florida courts have the right over affairs of judicial records. This includes past criminal charges and records that have been expunged or sealed. 

Juvenile Diversion Expungement

Florida Statutes states that a minor who has taken part in a diversion program can have measures taken by the court to have their record expunged. The diversion program the minor was a part of must be listed in s. 985.12 or be recommended by the state attorney. 

The juvenile's criminal history will be released to criminal justice agencies. This is done to:

Expungement With Certain Circumstances

There are times where those victims of human trafficking can see if they are eligible for the application process for expungement on the ground of self-defense. This is stated in the Florida Statutes Title XLVIII Chapter 943.0583.

The following are an essential part of expungement on the ground of self-defense:

Human trafficking is defined as the  transportation of men, woman, and children against their will. Many refer to this as a modern form of slavery. It often involves threats and force. Fraud or coercion may be used to obtain a commercial sex act or labor. Victims of human trafficking rarely come forth, as they are scared of the consequences. They may also fear the law or there could be a language barrier. 

Official documentation can be defined as documents that the state, federal, and local agencies supply that show the applicant has been a victim of human trafficking. A victim of human trafficking is any man, woman, or child who was a victim of a human trafficking supervisor.

Criminal Records for Minors: Automatic Expungement

The Criminal Justice Information Program has the right to keep a minor’s juvenile criminal history per Florida Statutes Title XLVIII Chapter 943.0515 (1a-b).  The minor must:

A minor needs to wait to apply for a certificate of eligibility until they are 18 years of age. They may not commit any crimes in the previous five years before they apply for this. If a minor is not approved to have their record expunged, it will automatically be expunged at the age of 21, as long as all requirements are met. This is per Florida Statutes Chapter 943.0515 (3).

If a minor was charged with an adult crime before the expungement of his or her minor record, the juvenile record will then be combined with the adult one, as per Chapter 943.0515 (2)(a).

How to Apply for Early Juvenile Expungement

Persons between the ages of 18 and 21 can apply for early juvenile expungement. Specific criteria must be met. The individual will need to first complete an application and submit the required information to the FDLE. The person must not have committed a crime within the past five years or else they will not be eligible for this expungement. The local prosecuting attorney can approve the expungement of the individual.  

How to Obtain a  Certificate of Eligibility for the Early Expungement of Juvenile Crimes in New Port Richey

If a juvenile wishes to proceed with early expungement of juvenile crimes in New Port Richey, they will need to meet the requirements set forth in the Florida  Statute 943.0515 (1)(b)2. A good deal of these steps is the same as adult expungement. The steps a minor must take include the following:

  • A certificate of eligibility application will need to be filled out. This file can be downloaded from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website or the offender can request it be sent to them via email. Section A must be completed in the presence of a clerk of the court or a Notary Public. The prosecuting attorney will fill in section B. 
  • Included in each application form is the FDLE fingerprint form (FD-40-024). If you have a fingerprint card, it can be used instead of this form. The applicant must include not only their name and birthdate, but also race, sex, agency ORI, social security number, and their signature. 
  • A disposition of the case that will be sealed or expunged must be received. If it is not available, the arresting agency, clerk of court, or the State Attorney’s office must submit a letter.  
  • A fee of $75 will need to be paid. It can be paid by cashier’s check, check, or money order. Cash will not be accepted. Payment must be submitted by the expiration date.  
  • A letter from the petitioner’s attorney must accompany the application. It must be printed on a document that includes letterhead.  
    • Decide if the minor is eligible for a diversion program
    • Review if there are any active criminal investigations
    • See if they are a part of a prosecutorial decision
    • Be placed in a category where he or she is a seasoned criminal
    • Was detained at a Juvenile corrections facility
    • Was detained at a Juvenile prison for 5 years after the date of when he or she will turn 21 (per Florida Statute Chapter 985)

    Musca Law Firm Can Help Your Expungement

    No one would ever say they want a criminal record. Any criminal charge brings forth plenty of penalties. And even when the penalties have been served, you will still have the criminal charge on your record. Unless you expunge it. Expunging your record will give you a fresh start in all aspects of your life and future endeavors.

    If you want a second chance for you life, please call Musca Law Firm at (727) 480-9675. Our attorneys will fight to get you the second chance you deserve. We will put our extensive legal experience to use in order to make sure that you are fully represented during the entire expungement process. We look forward to working with you!

    • The minor must fill out an application (Early Juvenile Expungement file), which can be downloaded from the FDLE website. It can also be requested by email. Section A is to be completed by the juvenile (applicant) and then signed by a parent or guardian. Section B will be filled out by the statewide prosecutor or the Office of the State Attorney. 
    • Fingerprint forms must be submitted by the applicant. Fingerprint cards could also be used. The name, sex, race, date of birth, agency ORI, social security number, and a valid signature must be on the form as well.
    • A check, money order, or cashier’s check for $75 will need to be included as well. Cash is not an accepted form of payment. 
Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!