In Florida, a person acquires a “criminal history record” when
they have been arrested and fingerprinted. You may be wondering how an
individual can have a criminal record, even if their charges were dropped
or dismissed. The Florida legislature determined that criminal records
would be public unless they are
expunged or sealed.
Each person has one opportunity only to expunge or seal one criminal record
in his or her lifetime. Those who have multiple arrests will have to determine
which one of their eligible records they would like to expunge or seal.
Keep in mind, you can expunge a case if it was dropped or dismissed prior
to trial. If not, you may still qualify to have your criminal record sealed.
Before you consider expungement of your criminal record, if you can answer
“no” to the following questions, then you may be eligible
for a Florida expungement or sealing of your records:
- Have you ever obtained a prior expungement or sealing?
- Have you ever been adjudicated guilty (found guilty) of a criminal offense?
- Are you currently under any type of probation, house arrest or pretrial release?
- Did you enter a “guilty” or “no contest” plea to
an offense which is ineligible for expungement?
On the other hand, the following is a partial list of charges that may
never be sealed:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual battery
- Sexual misconduct
- Robbery and home invasion
- Home burglary
- Stalking or aggravated stalking
- Drug trafficking
Any type of
domestic violence which results in injury
- Child abuse or child sexual abuse
- Acts of terrorism
- Abuse of elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly
person or disabled adult
- Illegal use of explosives
- Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly
person or disabled adult
- Child pornography
- Selling or buying of minors
- Luring or enticing a child
Remember, any charge which resulted in acquittal (not guilty verdict) following
a trial or a withholding of adjudication
cannot be expunged until it has first been sealed for at least ten years. A charged
which was dismissed before trial may be eligible for expungement, so long
as all charges related to your arrest were so disposed and your record
is otherwise eligible.
If you are interested in getting your criminal record expunged or sealed
request a free consultation with our Daytona Beach criminal defense attorneys at
Stepniak & Park today.