Many people that have been arrested often have their case dropped by the state or dismissed; however, the arrest still shows up on their criminal record. This can affect a person’s ability to get jobs or go to school so it is important that people have a clean record. To do this, many people turn to expungement which, technically, is really an expunction. To learn more or discuss your case consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater today.
Expunction is often equated with the sealing or the destroying of criminal records. It can be viewed as the process to “remove from general review” the records pertaining to a case. These records may not completely disappear as they may still be visible or available to law enforcement officials. To expunge a criminal arrest record means “to remove the arrest record from being a public record”.
Under current Florida law, any arrests that result in a dismissal or are dropped by the state can be expunged as long as the individual that was arrested has never been found guilty or delinquent for any other arrest. The expunction process can begin immediately after the case has been dismissed. Florida does not currently have any time constraints within which a person must start the expunction process but laws do change so it’s a good idea to start the process earlier rather than later. Why let a dismissed arrest affect your job situation longer than is necessary?
Record sealing and expungement are very similar processes. They both deny people access to your criminal record. Expungement, however, totally deletes the record from your criminal records. When a record is sealed, an arrest or conviction is no longer a public record. Certain agencies will still have access to the record but it won’t be general public knowledge anymore.
In record sealing and expungement cases, the judge’s decision is discretionary. The judge that reads your case is not required to seal or to expunge someone’s criminal record. The process can take up to six months.
While the State of Florida allows people to create their own record sealing packets, it is generally a good idea to allow an attorney to do this for you as it will ensure that mistakes are not made and that information that is necessary isn’t left out.
Length of a Case
It is reasonable to expect the expunction process to take between six and eight months to be completed. Individuals that are arrested in Florida but live in other states or countries do not have to return to Florida to have their record expunged.
If you or someone you know is in need of having an arrest expunged from their record, contact the Clearwater expungement lawyers of the Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, PLLC. Their experienced team will have the arrest removed from your criminal record as quickly as possible.