We all do silly things when we are young. For many of us, these things do not lead to criminal charges as much as they lead to big trouble from our parents. For others, those teenage shenanigans involve serious charges that guarantee a criminal record.

In situations such as these, you may be able to request that your record be expunged, altered or sealed. There are laws governing the expunging of criminal records in Florida, and you have many options.

Expungement

When you have your criminal record expunged, the incident never happened officially. You may have a criminal charge expunged provided you were never convicted. Your records will be sealed, and 10 years later, they will be expunged.

There are charges and information that cannot be erased from your criminal record. These include homicide, terrorism, arson, sexual battery and other crimes of such serious nature.

In the event that you do get your record sealed, it does not guarantee that the information will never be revealed. For example, if you choose to purchase a handgun, a background check will reveal your information. Expungement does help you when you are looking for employment. Once your record is sealed, you may legally answer ‘no’ to any questions that asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime.

Eligibility

If you commit a crime when you are a juvenile, the information is automatically expunged by the age of 25. Juveniles can seek to have records sealed prior to the age of 25 if the charges were dismissed of a diversion program was completed. Adults may only have one record sealed.

Filing for Expungement

If you wish to have a criminal record sealed, you must apply with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Fill out the information requested on the form and turn it in. If your application is granted, you will then petition the court with jurisdiction in which the incident occurred.

Expungement makes sense for any person who committed a crime when they were younger and is looking to better their lives. Your criminal record does not have to follow you for the rest of your life. Expungement is an option for many people who have been charged with minor crimes.

If you are interested in record expungement in Orlando, contact our office. A member of our team will review your information at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance.

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