Protecting Your Future From Past Offenses
Do you cringe every time you get to the section of a job application that asks about past arrests or convictions? It may be possible to seal or expunge old criminal records if they are preventing you from moving forward with your life.
Record expungement or sealing of records is an administrative function of the courts, but it is technical and complex. The law firm of Steven Wetter Attorney at Law, P.A., in Fort Myers, Florida, can determine if you qualify, and he can move your petition through the channels as efficiently as possible.
Ask us today about expungement. Our lawyer provides a free initial consultation to clients of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and communities of Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties.
The Process To Seal Or Expunge Criminal Records
Expungement wipes out all traces of the incident. It shields sealed records from the view of prospective employers or other parties doing background checks. However, courts and law enforcement still have access to such records.
- Any arrest records can be expunged if (a) you were acquitted at trial or if (b) charges were dropped or dismissed prior to trial.
- Certain convictions can be sealed or expunged if (a) you were found not guilty at trial or (b) if you entered a guilty plea and you satisfied the terms of a withheld adjudication.
- If you were adjudicated guilty at trial (by judge or jury), you cannot seal or expunge those records.
You cannot seal or expunge records for some crimes, but most misdemeanors and many felonies qualify. Florida courts limit the number of eligible offenses — generally you get “one bite of the apple.”
Once the court seals or destroys your records, you can truthfully avoid mention of past arrests or convictions (for that offense) on applications.