Florida expungement laws can be more difficult to understand than one might expect. A Florida criminal defense attorney can help clients with getting court records sealed or expunged, depending on the situation. Expungement of records is typically done following the end of a given sentence. It is up to the defendant to check back with the court and make sure that the records have been expunged in accordance with the court order.
Florida Expungement Laws
There are two instances when a criminal defense attorney can help with expungement of criminal records. First, they can help with the initial request for expungement. The request to have records expunged is done at the time of sentencing, and is typically for first time offenders or juvenile offenders. Second, they can assist the defendant with verifying that criminal records have been expunged following the completion of a sentence.
Getting Criminal Records Sealed in Florida
It is also possible for a Florida criminal defense lawyer to help clients have old criminal records sealed. This is sometimes deemed necessary when an individual has an old court case that is still on the books that is causing problems in their current life. Having a criminal record can negatively impact an individual in a number of ways. In these modern times, access to court record databases is unobstructed and easily accessible to employers, landlords, banks, credit companies, and even neighbors.
An employer that runs a criminal background check before calling interviewees may never get to hear your side of the story. In addition, it is becoming more commonplace for little league organizations, housing associations, and even kids' scouting groups to verify criminal history through these types of databases beforehand. You may never even know why you were denied group membership or a job.
Not all criminal offenses are eligible for expungement or for records to be sealed. Each person has to be evaluated individually. The state of Florida has strict laws regarding eligibility for sealed records of old criminal convictions. A Florida criminal defense attorney will first review the eligibility rules with you. If you are eligible, the attorney will then request a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Once the certificate is approved and received, your Florida criminal defense lawyer will file a Petition to Expunge or Seal with the state. This is done through the local court system. If the court requires hearings pertaining to the expungement or sealing of your criminal records, then your criminal defense attorney will be prepared to represent you.
If you or a family member has criminal records in the state of Florida that need to be sealed or expunged, then call T. Andrew Marks. He can discuss the case over the phone or schedule a free consultation to answer any questions you may have. T. Andrew Marks handles criminal defense cases in the Pensacola area, including Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Navarre, and all of Escambia County, Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County.