Jacksonville Florida Expungement Attorneys
Expungement of Records
What happened in the past doesn’t always stay there. A criminal history record can complicate many aspects of a person’s life from employment and housing to personal relationships. Under certain circumstances, an individual may be able to have their criminal record "expunged". This means that governmental and related entities can’t access your record without a court order. On the other hand, a "sealed" criminal record indicates that the public won’t have access to it but governmental and related entities will.
If you or someone you care about has been convicted of a crime in the past, expunging a criminal record can provide a fresh start. You don’t have to let one mistake follow you for the rest of your life. If you meet the criteria in order to be eligible for Florida expungement, also referred to as expunction, or would like to learn more about the expungement or record sealing process, please contact the lawyers at Farah & Farah. We are committed to justice and giving our clients the quality legal assistance that they deserve.
What’s the Point?
Because the Florida Legislature makes all Florida criminal history records public, a seal on or expungement of records gives an individual a better chance of becoming a contributing member of society and living a normal life.
Having a criminal history record presents several inconveniences and can make finding a job or a place to live more difficult. Whenever an individual is arrested and fingerprinted, a criminal record is established regardless of whether a person is convicted, acquitted, dismissed of charges before trial, or receives another disposition.
A full pardon or any other type of clemency doesn’t automatically expunge or initiate the expungement of a criminal record. When a criminal record is expunged, it is removed from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and when it is sealed, it is only available under highly restricted access.
Do I Qualify for Expungement in Florida?
Not all criminal conviction charges can be sealed or expunged. According to Florida Statutes, s.943.0585 and s.943.059, there is set criteria that an individual must follow in order to qualify for having his or her criminal history sealed or expunged. Before having your criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida, you must fill out an application with the FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility. Turning this application in is only the beginning as it doesn’t immediately order the seal or expungement; instead, it designates that you are eligible for these actions. Juveniles may also be eligible for criminal history expungement or sealing.
Appealing Denial of Your Application
It can be disappointing to have your application for Certification of Eligibility denied for expungement of your criminal record. However, you can request that the denial be reviewed. If the decision to deny eligibility is based on information in your criminal history record that you think is incorrect or incomplete, you can make this known in your appeal. Even if you agree that the criminal history data is correct, but believe that the law has been mistakenly applied or construed in your case, you can also appeal the FDLE’s decision.
A skilled attorney can assist you in examining your criminal history record to make sure that it’s correct and to challenge any data that is incorrect or unfinished.
A New Beginning
Expunging your criminal record is a second chance to start your life over and make your conviction a thing of the past. If you’re seeking information about this process or would like to file an appeal, the Florida expungement attorneys at Farah & Farah can help. Contact us today at (904) 263-4610 for a free consultation.