A criminal charge, even if it is dropped, can have negative impacts on jobs, loans and even military service. Having helped many people clear their records, our attorneys are ready to help you move in to the next phase of your life by putting past criminal charges behind you. Juvenile, misdemeanor and felony charges can be sealed or expunged. In many cases only one charge can be sealed or expunged but in certain circumstances multiple charges may be cleared.
The process is easy with the assistance of our attorneys. We will provide you with the documents you need to begin the process and gather the records and documents necessary to clear you record. Often, our criminal defense attorneys can clear your record and keep you out of court. How do you know if you are eligible? Here are some reasons you won’t be able to clear your record:
- You are currently on probation or incarcerated
- You have been convicted of a crime in the past
- You have previously had a charge sealed or expunged
What is the difference between sealing and expunging a record?
Both sealing and expunging a record work to take the record out of public view. Both allow the person to deny that the charges exist. Expunging your record replaces the crime you were charged with and the result within your criminal history report with phrasing that indicates the record has been expunged. Sealing keeps that information available to those doing federal background checks or in the instance a person applies to be in the medical professions, law, teaching, or law enforcement, or in the event that any new crime is committed.
How do I decide whether to seal or expunge my record?
It boils down to how your case ended. If your case ended with any kind of sentence that required you to go on probation, pay a fine or serve jail time, you likely won’t be able to expunge your record. If your case was dismissed, dropped, abandoned, or if you completed a diversion or intervention program that resulted in the charges being dismissed, dropped or abandoned, you may be eligible to expunge your record. You will also be able to expunge your record if you have previously sealed your record and 10 years has elapsed since you sealed your record
Call our office in Sarasota today for a free consultation to find out if you are eligible to clear your record, 941-365-7171.