When a person is arrested for an offense a record is created, even if that charge is ultimately dropped or dismissed by the prosecutor. Just because the charges are dropped, or the person was acquitted at trial does not mean that the case or arrest disappears. There is still a record, one that can be viewed by the public and one that may show up on background checks. Read on to learn more about Florida Sealing and Expungement Laws from the Florida criminal defense lawyers at Meldon Law.
Who is Eligible ?
In Florida person may be eligible to have a charge or case sealed if the charge or charges were dropped or a person received a withhold of adjudication. A withhold of adjudication means that you were not formally convicted of the offense that you were charged with, if though you have been sentenced for it. In Florida, you only have one opportunity to have an offense sealed and expunged and typically can only have one charge sealed.
You Can’t Be Convicted
If a person is adjudicated guilty of an offense then they are formally convicted of the charge, once a person is adjudicated guilty, they are not eligible to get that charge or any charges after that conviction sealed or expunged. There are also offenses that even if a person receives a withhold of adjudication, they cannot get the case sealed. This is why it is critical to have an experienced attorney like the ones at Meldon Law during every stage of your case.
How We Do It
The first step is contacting Meldon Law at (352) 373-8000. The second step in petitioning the court to have your record sealed is to apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a certificate of eligibility. Then If approved by the department then a person has 12 months in which to act upon the third step which is to petition the court to have their record sealed. In Florida, you only have one opportunity to have an offense sealed and expunged and typically can only have one charge or case sealed. However, you may be eligible to have multiple charges sealed if they both stem out of the same set of facts. For instance, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. If a person has received a withhold of adjudication, they may be eligible to have the charge sealed, however, the charge may not be expunged until it has been sealed for 10 years.
Why Meldon Law
There are many benefits to having your record sealed and expunged, mainly it can help prevent your criminal history from effecting your employment opportunities. However, the Florida Department of law enforcement may reveal an expunged record if a person is applying for a professional license (i.e. the Florida bar, law enforcement agency). At Meldon Law we are experienced in helping people have their records sealed and expunged, we have the knowledge necessary to navigate the petition process. We also have the knowledge and experience to help you get the result necessary for your case to be eligible to have your record sealed and expunged.