Articles Posted in Expunging and Sealing Criminal Records

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyIf a person goes through the yellow pages or searches the internet, one could be overwhelmed with the amount of Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys available in Jacksonville, Florida. However, selecting an attorney is not an easy process. Often, people will ask whether or not they should hire a private attorney or use a public defender. My response is always “if you can afford a private attorney, you should hire one.”

First, the services of the office of the public defender in Jacksonville are only for those clients that cannot afford an attorney. A public defender is not appointed to everyone that wants an attorney, just for those that do not have funds available to hire a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney.

Second, a Jacksonville criminal defendant cannot chose which attorney at the public defender’s Office will represent them. Therefore, if one is unhappy with their public defender, they cannot “shop around” and request another attorney be appointed. There are different types of attorneys at the public defender office and in private practice. Some attorneys are better than others. When you hire a Jacksonville criminal attorney, you have the option of meeting with the attorney and choosing which attorney better suits your needs.

Jacksonville Criminal LawyerWe all make mistakes, bad judgment calls, and are influenced by our peers. However, some these not so good decisions can result in Jacksonville Criminal Charges. When this happens you could be facing serious penalties for your actions. However, with the guidance and assistance of a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney they can fight the state and work to get you the best possible outcome of your case. Ultimately, you want the charges dropped but that is not always a viable option when negotiating with the State. However, if you Adjudication Withheld, you are in a position to have your record sealed.

Now that you have moved on from your Withhold of your Jacksonville Criminal Charge, do you have to disclose this information to potential employers? I get asked this question all the time. Clients are applying for a job and want to know how to answer the question, “Have you ever been convicted of felony?” The correct answer for this question is NO. If you received a Withhold for your Jacksonville Criminal Charge, you were never CONVICTED, therefore the correct answer to that question is NO.

However, just because adjudication was Withheld, does not mean it will not appear on a background check. Therefore, you are in a position in whether to tell an employer first or to wait for the employer to ask; if at all. Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to this question. Sometimes its better to take the proactive step and notify them ahead of time and explain the situation. But, that can lead to quick judgments. In contrast, if you wait, they may look at it as you are trying to hide something. So, one just has to feel their way through the process and determine what is the best plan of action for their individual case.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyThe short answer is, “it depends.” I know that is the cliché Attorney answer to every legal question you may present to a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney. However, my experience in dealing with expunging a Florida Criminal Record, it really depends upon each individual’s personal situation. More importantly, there are statutory guidelines and requirements that must be met before a Florida Record Expunction can even begin.

These requirements and guidelines are listed under Florida Statutes § 943.0585 and § 907.041. Some specifics of the statute are: the applicant has never been adjudicated guilty, never been adjudicated guilty of any act stemming from the arrest pertaining to this request, never received a record seal or expunction. Furthermore, under § 907.041, Florida lists certain criminal offenses that are not eligible for record expunctions. For instance, most aggravated offenses, Sex Crimes, Crimes against Children, etc.

This is just a brief summary of the statutory provisions required for a Florida Record Expunction. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, I can review your specific circumstances and determine if a record Expunction is possible. From that point, I can work with you to assist and represent you throughout the process.

Jacksonville Expungement AttorneyI am applying for a job and they stated I have a Florida Criminal Conviction. But, I had a Withhold of Adjudication for that Florida Criminal Offense. I thought a Withhold was different from a Conviction! What can I do? -If these previous statements sound familiar you may in the same position as many of my previous clients. However, do not worry as a Jacksonville Expungement Attorney I may be able to assist you in clearing up your Florida Criminal Record.

In this unfortunate event your employer has decided not to take into consideration the difference between adjudication withheld and a conviction. However, the differences are great. A conviction for a Florida Criminal Offense means you are no longer applicable to apply for a Florida record Expunge or Seal. It also means when you are applying for a job you MUST inform the employer when the question asks, “if you have ever been convicted…” In contrast, a Withhold means you were never convicted. Therefore you can truthfully state you have never been convicted of a Florida Criminal Offense.

However, some employers (especially in this tough economy) are just looking for a reason to choose another applicant. That is where a Florida Record Seal may prove to be invaluable in your future. Therefore, if you have a Criminal History that is not perfect, contact a Jacksonville Expungement Attorney to discuss your circumstances and determine what is the best approach in moving forward.

BinocularsAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I have been approached on numerous occasions by clients with not so perfect Florida Criminal Histories. However, these blemishes on their records does not necessarily make them bad people, we all make mistakes and some mistake deserve to be erased. That is why I offer my current clients and potential clients who have Florida Criminal Histories the opportunity to have their Florida Criminal History Sealed or Expunged. With that being said, the number one question I address with my Florida Record Seal/Expunge Clients is “Who can see my Florida Criminal History after it has been Sealed or Expunged?

For the most part the answer is “no one.” However there are a few exceptions to that general answer. According to Florida Statutes, the following are exceptions and can see your Florida Criminal History even after it has been Sealed or Expunged.

  1. A criminal justice agency, state law enforcement agency, or federal law enforcement agency. For example, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the FBI will still be able to access your Sealed or Expunged Florida Criminal History. Additionally, if you are seeking employment with any of these agencies, you will have to notify them of your sealed or expunged record and in some cases have the record unsealed.

Record-SealAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I receive numerous calls regarding a person’s past Florida Criminal History and their desire to have it sealed or expunged. However, I am not always able to assist due to the statutory confines of the Florida Statutes. Therefore, in order to clarify some immediate questions, the offenses listed below cannot be Sealed or Expunged.

Florida Statutes § 943.0585 and § 943.059 list several criteria that must be satisfied before allowing a Florida Criminal record to be Sealed or Expunged. One of these criteria is that the crime does not fall into a number of certain crime categories. These include:

  1. Aggravated Assault

Jacksonville Beach Record Seal/Expunge AttorneyAre you a Florida Resident located in St. Augustine, Duval, Orange Park, St. Johns county, Clay county, or the surrounding area? Have you applied for jobs or specialized licenses? Has your application been rejected because of a questionable criminal history? If so, a Jacksonville Beach Record Seal/Expunge Attorney may be able to help! As a Jacksonville Beach Record Seal/Expunge Attorney I can review your Florida Criminal History and make the initial determination as to whether or not you are eligible to have your record expunged.

In order to be eligible to have your Criminal Record Expunged, you must have not been convicted of any criminal offense, or had the charges brought against you dropped, or your current Criminal Record has been sealed for 10 years. These requirements and more are outlined in Florida Statute § 943.0585. Under this Statute, the person requesting a record expunction, must provide the court with a valid certificate of eligibility AND a sworn statement attesting to the following:

  • Never been adjudicated guilty;

Riverside Criminal Defense LawyerDo you have a Riverside Criminal History that is keeping you from getting that apartment you want, prevented from getting that ideal job, or refused a loan because of your past? If so, I can help. However, in most cases, you must act now and not wait until the case has been resolved.

As a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am often confronted with the question, “Why should I hire a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer?” The answer is simple; to protect your rights and to protect your FUTURE. As a Riverside Attorney, I can work for you to get the best outcome possible given your current situation. Most importantly I can take three avenues to make assist you in having a better future.

First, I can work with the State Attorney or Prosecutor to attempt to influence their filing decision and get the charges dropped. Just because you have been arrested for a Riverside Criminal Offense, does not automatically mean there will be a conviction. However, the filing decision is made early in the legal process, so time is of the essence in this approach.

Atlantic Beach Record Seal AttorneyAs an Atlantic Beach Record Seal Attorney, I am confronted on a daily basis regarding potential clients wanting to have their record sealed. Unfortunately, I am not always able to assist them in ascertaining their objective. Therefore, in order to give my Clients more information up front regarding an Atlantic Beach Record Seal, I have provided the crimes that are not permitted under Florida Statutes.

However, I would like to note, that this list is not all-inclusive and if you have any questions please contact me directly and I will be able to assist you in your particular matter.

What crimes may not be sealed:

No-CrimeAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I get numerous calls about Jacksonville, Florida Record Seal/Expunge. In most cases I can assist an individual in achieving this goal. However, Florida Statutes do define some offenses, regardless of adjudication that could potentially make a person ineligible for a Jacksonville Record Seal/Expunge.

Florida Statute § 943.059 governs Florida Record Sealing. It permits a Criminal Defendant in Florida to seal his or her record under certain circumstances. In particular, in order to have your Florida Criminal Record sealed, you cannot have ever been convicted of a crime. In the majority of Florida Record Sealing Cases, the applicant has been given a withhold of adjudication. With many crimes, if you have been given a withhold, you can petition to have your record sealed in Florida. However, there are certain crimes that you cannot have sealed, even if the conviction was withheld. The crimes are listed in Florida Statute § 907.041 and are as follows:

  1. Arson;
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