Expungement Attorneys In Orlando

Orlando Attorney

Have you been arrested? Convicted of a crime? You should know that this information is very accessible. In this day of computer technology, with only a click of the mouse, there are many people, agencies, employers and others who will have access to your past. Our lawyers understand how knowing you have a criminal record can cause you a great deal of stress.

Want to expunge your record? To learn whether or not we can expunge your criminal arrest and clear your criminal record, contact us online.

Why You Should Expunge Your Record

Before you consider applying for entrance to a college or university, or for an academic scholarship, for a car or home loan, or to rent a home/apartment, or for a new employment position that you are hoping will establish a career, you should know that more and more people are requiring extensive credit and criminal background checks to eliminate those who they deem to be not credible. There are more people applying than there are jobs, scholarships, etc., so that many sources such as universities, corporations, finance companies and credit companies can afford to be selective when determining who is the more credible applicant.

FAQ: Sealing And Expungement

Frequently Asked Questions About Sealing Or Expungement Of Criminal Records

What Does A Criminal Record Consist Of?

A criminal record is a history of the arrest, arraignment, pleading (claims of not guilty or no contest), criminal charging affidavit, and all documentation that is held in any clerk’s office, judicial branch or law enforcement agency’s files regarding the matter.

Can A Criminal Record Be Cleared, Sealed, Destroyed Or Expunged?

Yes. Certain charges can be cleared or cleansed from one’s criminal record through the legal process known as sealing or expungement. Arrests that result in the finding of adjudication of guilt withheld (can be sealed and thus removed from public records) subject to certain statutory exceptions.

A recently signed House bill expanded eligibility for immediate court-ordered “expunction” (destruction) to cases where a person has been acquitted by a judge or has had a verdict of not guilty rendered by a judge or jury. This new development allows an individual to bypass the requirement under former law that such a record must first be sealed for 10 years.  Under former law, immediate expunction was also available only if all charges were dismissed before trial.  Florida Statute § 943.0585 explains the matter further.

Other existing eligibility requirements for expungement remain in place: only those who have had no prior convictions or expungements are eligible, and those charged with violent or sex offenses are ineligible. These changes were made effective October 1, 2018.

What Does Sealing Criminal Records Accomplish?

The process of sealing one’s criminal records is not a complete erasure of the files but, rather, seals or closes the file from public view.

What Is Expungement?

The process of expungement of criminal records removes the arrest record from being a public record. An expunged record is no longer visible when a background check is done. Expungement is usually the best way to guarantee that a past mistake does not come back to haunt you.

How Does My Arrest Affect Me?

In any arrest that results in a dismissal or nolle prosequi, wherein the state has dropped the case, the record can be expunged as long as you have never been adjudicated guilty or delinquent for another charge.

Remember, a potential employer, college, university, credit company, etc., can easily obtain your criminal record or history. Law enforcement agencies, such as police, county, court, clerk’s offices, prosecutorial agencies and the FBI maintain criminal histories. Many of these records are now available for the public, via the Internet. If your criminal record is sealed or expunged, then you may be legally allowed to say that the conviction or arrest never occurred on job applications, rental applications or for many other purposes.

A single charge or arrest can have a devastating impact to your career and future, especially if you are between jobs, seeking a promotion at your job, applying for new employment, applying for colleges, universities and/or post-graduate schools.

Can All Criminal Charges Be Sealed Or Expunged?

No. Not all criminal charges can be sealed or expunged. Most misdemeanors and some felonies can be sealed or expunged. Please contact or call us at 407-228-3838 so that one of our attorneys can give you advice on whether or not your charges are eligible to be sealed or expunged.

How Does The Sealing or Expungement Process Work?

After we determine that your charges qualify for sealing or expungement, our office prepares an application, which is presented to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), along with your fingerprint card. FDLE will run a background check to make a final determination that you qualify for a sealing or expungement.

Once it has determined you qualify, FDLE will prepare a Certificate of Eligibility, and send it to us. Upon receipt, we prepare a Petition or Motion to file with the court, with copies going to the appropriate prosecutor’s office, along with copies to the other law enforcement agencies that maintain your criminal history record information.

In many instances, the judge will grant the Motion or Petition without scheduling a hearing requiring you to appear in court. In some instances, however, the judge may require a hearing, and a date is scheduled to appear before the judge. At the hearing, the judge will consider the specific facts and circumstances of your case, and in your life, review your record to ensure you have successfully completed your sentence, and investigate as to whether or not any new arrests or criminal convictions have been added to your record.

The judge will also listen to both the prosecutor’s position and your attorney’s arguments, before deciding whether or not to grant the sealing or expungement petition.

How Long Will The Sealing Or Expungement Process Take?

The sealing or expungement process can take, on average, anywhere from two to nine months to complete. It is not possible to give an exact or definite time, as the process is dependent upon several factors. Please call us at 407-228-3838 so that one of our attorneys can further assist you.

How Do I Start The Process?

That’s simple. Contact our lawyers and staff at The Umansky Law Firm to discuss your matter and set an appointment for a free case review to determine whether you qualify for a sealing or expungement. If you qualify, we can assist you in sealing or expunging your criminal record, and you may not even have to make a court appearance.