Sealing / Expunging Criminal Records
Once you have completed the Florida criminal process and have had your case dismissed, received a not guilty verdict, or met the requirements of your withheld adjudication, you think that the effect of your charges is over and you can go on to live the rest of your life. However, this is not the case as your criminal record will still be marred by the arrest record and court records for the offense – which may disqualify you from certain residential, educational, or professional opportunities due to the background check.
The remedy for this is the process known as record sealing or record expunging in Florida. Though you may achieve an expunged or sealed record through effort on your own, hiring an experienced Brooksville criminal lawyer may reduce complications as well as the time required by you. For some, saving as much time and effort as possible is the best way.
Brooksville Attorney for Sealing or Expunging Records
There are many requirements for completing the Florida record sealing or expunging process. If you are thinking about trying for a better future through having your criminal record in Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, High Point, Hernando Beach, Hill ‘n Dale, Inverness Highlands, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, Bushnell, or the surrounding areas sealed or expunged, experienced Hernando County criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls is ready and willing to help you.
The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. was founded on a commitment of communication to and education of every client. To find out what Ashley Aulls can do for the sealing or expunction of your criminal record in Hernando County or the surrounding areas, call (352) 593-4115 today and schedule an initial case consultation.
Florida Criminal Record Sealing / Expunging Information Center
- Definition of Record Sealing and Record Expungement in Florida
- Eligibility for Record Sealing or Expunging in Hernando County
- Process for Florida Record Sealing and Expunging
- Florida Record Sealing / Expunging Resources
Definition of Record Sealing and Record Expungement in Florida
Because record sealing and record expungement in Florida have similar effects on your future and legal processes that are practically the same, the two terms are often confused or used interchangeably. However, record sealing and record expunging are two very different and separate things. When a Florida criminal record is sealed, it is removed from public view and physically put away so that no one except for specific government entities may access it without a court order.
Record expungement is a different process where you all copies of your record, save for one, are physically destroyed. The one remaining copy is kept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and is not viewable to anyone except for in special circumstances which must involve a court order. If you have successfully sealed your record, it is eligible for expungement after 10 years.
Both the process of record sealing and the process of record expunging prevent the criminal history from showing up on most background checks, which could significantly improve your future welfare. Involving an experienced Hernando County criminal defense lawyer could mean you would have your record sealed or expunged with as little effort on your part as possible, and could then move on with your life.
Eligibility for Record Sealing or Expunging in Hernando County
Though in other states in the Union, convictions are allowed to be sealed or expunged, that is not the case in Florida. Additionally, to have your records sealed or expunged – including any arrest records, police records, or court records – you must meet very specific eligibility requirements specified by Fla. Stat. §§ 943.0585 & 943.059. Beyond not having a conviction or other guilty adjudication, these laws also state that you can’t have had a prior record sealed or expunged, violated the terms of a withhold of adjudication, or if you pled guilty, no contest, or were found guilty and received a withhold of adjudication on specific offenses, including:
- Aggravated assault
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Manufacturing or trafficking in a controlled substance
- Certain sex offenses
- Manslaughter or homicide
Only one record is allowed to be sealed or expunged, with the exception of multiple records pertaining to the same offense. Automatic sealing or expunction of a record as a part of the court process does not count as a prior for your petition to seal or expunge. If you do succeed in sealing or expunging your Hernando County criminal record, you can then legally deny or fail to acknowledge any and all records related to the offense. Having an experienced Brooksville criminal attorney at your side can make the process go smoother and help reduce your effort towards the record sealing or expunging process for your Florida criminal record.
Process for Florida Record Sealing and Expunging
Filing for the sealing or expunging of your Florida criminal record in the Hernando County area can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. First, you must apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with the FDLE, which requires you to pay a $75 fee, be fingerprinted by authorized law enforcement personnel, fill out and sign the application in front of a Notary Public, and present an authorized letter proving your case was completed without conviction. If your request for Certificate of Eligibility is denied, you may appeal the decision.
If your Certificate of Eligibility is approved by the FDLE, then comes the next step in the process which is actually the court petition to seal or expunge your record. This is where the process can be difficult and the services of an experienced Spring Hill criminal lawyer can be useful, though involvement of the attorney from the beginning is ideal. The petition to seal or expunge your Florida criminal record must include the following:
- Your FDLE Certificate of Eligibility
- Sworn statement of eligibility for Florida record sealing and expunging
- Sworn statement of no convictions or other guilty adjudications
- Sworn statement that the withhold of adjudication is not for an ineligible offense
- Sworn statement that no prior record sealing or expunging has occurred for you
Once you are approved for record sealing or expunging of your Florida record, the Clerk of Court for Hernando County or where your offense was sealed or expunged sends a certified copy of the court order to the FDLE, the arresting agency responsible for your case, and the State Attorney. Additional agencies that may receive a certified copy of the court order include the Department of Corrections, Teen Courts, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Florida DMV. Once the FDLE follows through with the sealing or expunging procedure, it will then notify the arresting agency, and the process will be complete.
Florida Record Sealing / Expunging Resources
Hernando County Clerk of Court – The Clerk of Court for Hernando County handles many court record issues, including court records, passports and marriage licenses. Follow this link for the Clerk of Court’s page on the record sealing and expunging process for Brooksville and other areas in Hernando County.20 N Main St
Brooksville, FL 34601
FDLE Record Sealing and Expunging FAQs – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is the main agency involved in the Florida process for sealing and expunging your criminal record. This link goes to the Frequently Asked Questions page for record sealing and record expunction, which has plenty of useful information about what is involved in the process.
The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. | Expunging of Criminal Records Lawyer in Hernando County
If you are seeking a brighter future through expunging your criminal record in Hernando County, Sumter County, Citrus County, or the surrounding areas, including Spring Hill, Brooksville, Timber Pines, Homosassa Springs, Floral City, and Bushnell, contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. Ashley Aulls is committed to providing you with the highest level of customer service while educating you throughout the sealing or expunging process for your Florida criminal record. Call (352) 593-4115 today to schedule your initial case consultation with The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. about the possibilities for your Hernando County area criminal records.