Articles Posted in Expungements and Record Sealings

A criminal record can follow you for a lifetime, impacting your ability to land a job, continue your education, or sign a lease. This is true even if your case never resulted in a conviction. One way to rectify this (if you qualify) is to petition the court to have your record sealed or expunged.Broward criminal defense lawyer

If you have been arrested in Fort Lauderdale and are curious about whether your records can be sealed or expunged under Florida law, our Broward criminal defense lawyers can offer details.

Record Sealing vs. Expungement

In Florida, you may be entitled to have your juvenile record sealed or expunged, depending on the circumstances in your case. Typically, this is a one-time deal, unless a judge determines a subsequent arrest is related directly to the arrest that was already sealed or expunged. Although there are some cases that can be expunged automatically and without the aid of an attorney, it is best to discuss your legal options with a lawyer.Handcuffs

You want to make sure it’s done right because a juvenile record can affect:

  • Where you live;
  • Where your family is allowed to live;
  • Where you can go to school;
  • Where you can apply for a job;
  • Whether you can obtain financial aid for college;
  • If you/ your family are eligible for welfare assistance.

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As we look to a new year, some may wish to explore the possibility of a clean slate. That is, to have their criminal record expunged so it no longer hinders their ability to secure a job, student loans or other opportunities. erasure.jpg

You may have heard recently of celebrity Mark Wahlberg seeking a pardon for a felony assault charge he committed in 1988 in Boston as a 16-year-old. It’s worth noting a pardon and an expungement are two different things. Having one’s record expunged in Florida requires certain criteria be met, and the process is completed judicially through the courts. Meanwhile, a pardon is granted by an official within the executive branch.

Wahlberg, for instance, is one of dozens seeking a pardon from the outgoing Massachusetts governor. In that state, the governor recently expanded guidelines to make it easier for people to apply for pardons, commutations or reductions in prison sentences.
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The current economic situation has lead to thousands of job losses. As people begin to search for new employment, they are often rudely awakened by something they may have long forgotten; their criminal history.

With the economic downturn many Floridians are rushing to begin their Florida Expungment or Record Sealing process. Some have lost their jobs while others seek better opportunities for themselves and their families. However, all are haunted by their prior criminal history.

The Florida Expungement or Record Sealing laws allow an individual to essentially “erase” prior contact with the criminal justice system provided they meet certain criteria. The Florida Expungement or Record Sealing law states that an individual shall only expunge or seal “one” arrest. This means that an individual can only expunge or seal charges arising from the same instance or occurrence. Additionally, the individual seeking the Florida Expungement or Record Sealing could not have been “adjudicated” on that or any other charge in order to qualify.

The key to a successful Florida expungment or Record Sealing is to not wait until the last minute. “The problem most people have is that they wait until they have already been denied that new opportunity due to past criminal history. This is unfortunate because this loss may have been easily avoidable had the individual acted sooner.”
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