Clear Your Record with a Trusted Florida Expungement Attorney
Living with a criminal record can be tough. Potential employers may pass on your application when they discover your past. Landlords might be reluctant to have you living at their properties. Loans and other forms of aid can be harder to come by. You could even face a harder time getting certain professional licenses that could help you get ahead.
To make matters worse, you do not have to be convicted of a crime to get a criminal record. In Florida, arrests and charges will still show up even if you prove that you are completely innocent. Your criminal record is not something that simply goes away. Once something is on your record, it usually stays there for the rest of your life.
Unless you take action.
West Palm Beach criminal lawyer David W. Olson has been protecting the rights of the accused for decades in South Florida. He fervently believes that everyone deserves the right to turn their life around and become a productive member of society. That is why he uses his vast legal knowledge and skills to help eligible Floridians to get their records expunged or sealed.
Doing this matters more than many people realize. If you qualify for sealing, your record will be hidden from the public so that only some government officials will be able to access it. No more worrying about private employers and landlords turning you down because of a mistake you made years ago. Expungement is even more powerful. If your record is expunged, even government officials will be required to get a court order before they can see it.
Who Does (and Does Not) Qualify for Expungement and Record Sealing in Palm Beach County
Unfortunately, expungement and record sealing are not available to everyone who makes a mistake in Florida. There are certain requirements that you need to meet in order to be eligible to apply. Though there are exceptions, generally speaking you qualify for sealing or expunging if:
- You have not been convicted of a crime as an adult or adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile.
- You have not previously had a record sealed or expunged (the State of Florida allows for only one record to be sealed or expunged per individual, except in certain specific circumstances). This rule holds even if the record in question was sealed or expunged in a different state.
- You have successfully completed a pre- or post-arrest or teen diversion program under s. 943.0582 for a qualifying misdemeanor.
- Your arrest was deemed to be “contrary to law or by mistake” under s. 943.0581. This type of expungement will not count toward your single lifetime allotment.
Additionally, Florida juveniles automatically have their records expunged when they turn 21. This, as with a finding that an arrest was “contrary to law or by mistake,” does not count as a “prior expunged record” that would disqualify you from the process.
The list of things that disqualify you is far longer. First off, if you have been convicted of a DUI or any felony, you do not qualify. You can find an exhaustive list of disqualifying crimes here.
Other factors can make you ineligible as well, including:
- Having a “withhold” from a judge changed to an “adjudication” because you violate the terms of your probation or community control.
- Having a “withhold” for the following offenses (including attempting or conspiring to commit these offenses):
- Abuse or aggravated abuse of a disabled adult or elderly individual
- An act of domestic violence (as defined in s. 741.28)
- Aggravated assault or battery
- Burglary of a dwelling
- An act of terrorism (as defined in s. 741.28 F.S.)
- Aircraft piracy
- Child abuse
- Computer pornography that involves a child
- Drug trafficking or manufacturing
- Home invasion robbery
- Illegal use of explosives
- Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon a child (or while a child is present)
- Offenses committed by public employees and officers
- Organized fraud
- Possessing or possession with the intent to promote any representation involving sexual conduct by a child
- Promoting the sexual performance of a child
- Sexual activity with a child (aged 12-17) by soliciting someone in familial or custodial authority
- Sexual battery
- Using a child in a sexual performance
- Having a petition to seal or expunge pending in another case.
- Having an open criminal case or still needing to fulfill a court obligation, such as probation, community control, community service, restitution, or court costs.
Why an Experienced Florida Record Sealing Attorney Is Your Best Chance at a Clean Record
If you qualify, and if you follow all application directions to a “T,” it is actually very likely that you will get your record sealed or expunged. This is because the laws of the State of Florida favor expungement. In order for a judge to refuse expunction, he or she must provide evidence detailing their reasoning, and these refusals are often overturned on appeals.
Pay attention to the “ifs” at the beginning of that paragraph though. The hard part of going through the expungement process is jumping through the administrative hoops. Make one small mistake and the process could end up taking a lot longer – or be entirely derailed.
David W. Olson has helped countless Floridians with sealing or expunging their records, so you will know unequivocally if you qualify and if it is worth your time to apply for expungement. Documentation will always be completed correctly and filed on time.
In short, Olson will make the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you run into any snags, he will be there to address them.
All you have to do to get started is reach out to our office. You can set up a free initial consultation by filling out our free online case review form, then emailing David@dwolaw.com or calling us at (561) 833-8866 or (561) 315-4470.