Accessing Expunged Criminal Records in FL
People who end up on the wrong side of the law can suffer steep consequences, including a criminal record. Criminal records can hold people back from enjoying the same opportunities as those who don’t have a record, resulting in barriers to employment, housing, education, financial aid and social acceptance. These challenges can cause serious damage to a person’s livelihood, but luckily, there is hope.
The American Bar Association defines record expungement as the process by which a record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from state or federal record. If completed successfully, a person can treat the conviction as if it never happened. This affords them limitless opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t enjoy with a criminal record.
However, while a record expungement carries a host of benefits, there’s one downside. Certain people can still view an expunged record. To do so, they must get a court order to access the expunged record. The FL Department of Law Enforcement asserts that a person may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge their arrests covered by the sealed/expunged record, except when the person:
- Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency
- Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution
- Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief under Section 943.0585, Section 943.059 or Section 943.0583
- Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar
- Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly
- Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses childcare facilities
- Is seeking to be licensed by the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services within the Department of Financial Services
- Is seeking to be appointed as a guardian under Section 744.3125
It’s vital to be aware that criminal record expungements cannot be removed from the press, such as Google or social media. Without certain legal actions, the court cannot expunge most, and certainly not all, public records. As such, an expungement does not entirely destroy a person’s criminal offense and conviction history.
Eligibility for Expungement in FL
If you’re interested in getting your criminal record expunged, please note that you may be eligible for record expungement in Florida if you have not been found guilty or adjudicated delinquent for committing a felony or any of the following misdemeanors:
- Assault on a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or other specified officers
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Open carrying of a weapon
- Unlawful possession or discharge of a weapon or firearm at a school-sponsored event or on school property
- Unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs
- Unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor
- Exposure of sexual organs
- Petit theft
- Neglect of a child
- Cruelty to animals
There are additional requirements that must be met in order to get your criminal record expunged in Florida. It may seem tedious, but an expungement is like a “second chance” that allows you to regain your well-deserved peace of mind.
If you would like to learn if you are eligible for a record expungement in Miami, I can discuss your options with you during a free consultation. To begin working to achieve a fresh start, contact me online or by calling (305) 330-1976.