Lake City Expungement Attorneys
Innocent people are charged with criminal offenses every day in Lake City. Others simply make a mistake or are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they find themselves with a permanent criminal record. A criminal record will make life very difficult and will limit the opportunities you have for employment, housing, professional licenses, and even certain scholarships. If you have a criminal record, you may be able to get it expunged and take your life back. A Lake City expungement attorney can help you do it.
Expungement vs. Sealing Records in Lake City
The terms ‘expungement’ and ‘sealing records’ are very similar, but people often confuse the two to be one and the same. Expunging and sealing your criminal record will make it as though an arrest or conviction never happened. However, there are differences.
An expungement will completely destroy your criminal record and there will be no record of it. Essentially, you will be able to live your life as though it never happened, even if you are charged with another criminal offense in the future.
Sealing your records though, does not do this. Your criminal record is not destroyed when they are sealed, but it does prevent certain people from seeing it. When your criminal record is sealed, law enforcement, the courts, and other official parties can still access it. This means that if you are charged with an offense in the future, any previous convictions will still work against you.
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Petitioning for Expungement
Unfortunately, not everyone charged or convicted of a crime is eligible for expungement. You must petition the court to expunge your record and you must include a valid eligibility certificate with your petition. A Lake City expungement lawyer can help you obtain the certificate, and the sworn statement it must include. That sworn statement must state the following:
- You have not been convicted of any other criminal offenses or violations, even misdemeanors,
- You have not been adjudicated for any violation similar to the offense you are seeking expungement for,
- You have not sought expungement before, unless the current expungement is for an offense that occurred at least ten years prior
Once you have obtained your certificate of eligibility, you can then start the steps necessary when petitioning for expungement.
Steps to Take for Expungement
To expunge your criminal record, you must taking the following steps:
- Obtain an application
- Have your fingerprints taken
- Collect the disposition of the case
- Pay the administrative fee
- If you have legal representation, obtain a letter from your attorney
The above steps are not always to take for those not familiar with the process. A Lake City expungement lawyer can help you take the appropriate steps and collect the necessary documents.
Call Our Lake City Expungement Attorney Today
At Meldon Law, our Lake City criminal defense lawyers can help get your record destroyed so you can move forward with a clear name. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review and to learn more about your legal options.