Can you remove an arrest from your past? Are you able to clear a Florida criminal record? What does it mean to seal or expunge your Florida record? If you have been arrested, there is documentation of your arrest. This is an arrest record. If you were issued a criminal notice to appear ticket and went to court, there is a record of these events. You may have been given what looks like an ordinary Jacksonville traffic citation, but it is much more. It may be a criminal ticket that will show up on a background check. Even if you were arrested for what appears to be a minor criminal charge, it will show up on your record. For instance, a Jacksonville petit theft charge is a misdemeanor, but it is still a charge that you may not want potential employers finding. Many Jacksonville assault and battery cases are also misdemeanors, but they are crimes of violence that you may not want in the public records.
Imagine that a person went through a hard time in his or her life and ended up with a felony drug charge, such as Florida possession of a controlled substance. After rehabilitation, the person has completed his or her education and wants to find a good job and begin a career, but this drug charge is causing trouble. One way of dealing with this problem is to seal or expunge the Florida criminal record.
People are often surprised that they can erase a criminal charge from their record. In fact, I was interviewed on the Women’s Radio Network and the law of sealing and expunging in Florida intrigued the radio host. Here is the audio for the interview:
In order to seal or expunge your record, you must meet certain requirements. One of the biggest problems that I see as a Jacksonville criminal attorney is when the person that is trying to expunge or seal the record has a criminal conviction or has been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense. If you have EVER been convicted of a crime, you cannot seal or expunge your record. How do you know if you were convicted of a crime? With felonies, it is easy. Ask yourself, “Are you a convicted felon?” If so, you have been convicted. With misdemeanors, it is a little more difficult. If you were adjudicated guilty of a crime, than you were convicted of the crime. If adjudication was withheld, you were not convicted.
You may want to obtain a copy of your record or disposition from the clerk of court in the county in which your case occurred. For instance, if you were arrested and went to court in Green Cove Springs, you want to go to the Clay County court house. If you were arrested in St. Augustine, go to the St. Johns County court house. If you were arrested in Yulee, go to the Nassau County court house. In Duval County, you can visit the Duval County court house. Neptune Beach also has an office that may be more convenient for Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach residents. Some clerks of court will give information over the telephone. You may also be able to find information on the clerk of court’s website by doing a record or name search.
If you want to know if you are eligible for a Florida record seal, visit Can I Seal My Florida Criminal Record. To view the requirements for a record expunction, visit Can I Expunge My Florida Criminal Record.
If you are interested in expunging or sealing your Florida criminal record, contact 20 Miles Law to speak with a criminal lawyer in Jacksonville. You may call (904) 564-2525 or send an email to Contact Lawyers.