Record Sealing and Expungement
Resolving Your Legal Concerns in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Sealing and Expunging Criminal Charges in West Palm Beach
Seeking the sealing or expunging a criminal offense from your record might just be the closest you can get to “undoing” the actions you took in the past that led to your criminal history. With a determined criminal defense lawyer on your side, it may be possible to get a criminal charge removed from your record, which can have considerable benefits. If you’ve been struggling to obtain employment since your criminal charge or conviction, taking steps to have your record sealed or expunged can change your life.
In Florida, a person who has been charged with a particular offense may be eligible to have their criminal record sealed or expunged. Different requirements exist for each process. Find out if you may be eligible by discussing your criminal charge with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Sealing a Criminal Charge
Record sealing is done pursuant to Florida Statute Section §943.059. The general requirements of this statute are:
- A person has no criminal history;
- Was not adjudicated guilty of the offense;
- The offense was one that is applicable under the provisions of Florida Statute Section §943.059; and
- The person seeking to seal his or her record never previously received a record sealing or expungement.
Record sealing ensures that the general public cannot view your criminal history. The sealing of juvenile criminal proceedings is standard procedure once the juvenile turns 18. Records remain accessible with a court order, and a sealed physical record remains.
Expunging a Criminal Charge
Record expungement is done pursuant to Florida Statute Section §943.0585. Under this statute, a person may be eligible for expungement of his criminal record. The difference with expungement is that the records of the arrest are physically destroyed except for one file that remains in Tallahassee with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 943.0585, a person may be eligible for expungement of a criminal history if:
- The charge is applicable under Florida Statute Section 943.0585;
- A person had the underlying charge dismissed, nolle prossed or dropped;
- A person has never previously had a record sealing or expungement, and
- A person has no criminal activity.
The process for record sealing and expungement take somewhat of a similar track. Initially, the client, with the help of Attorney Brian Gabriel, needs to complete an application for their record sealing or expungement. Next, he or she must proceed to have the application signed off by the Clerk of Court and the local State Attorney’s Office. From there, The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel assists clients in submitting the appropriate documentation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their review.
Upon the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s review of the application and their issuance of the certificate of eligibility, we assist clients in filing the appropriate motions before the Court and argue for the appropriate record sealing or expungement to take place. The sealing and expungement of a person’s criminal history is truly a once in a lifetime ordeal. Florida Statutes do not allow multiple sealings and expungements; therefore, it is imperative in your hiring of legal representation to have an attorney familiar with the appropriate statutes and regulations to win the best outcome.
A Committed Defense Lawyer Can Help You Obtain an Expungement
At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, our firm has helped those who have been charged and convicted of certain crimes obtain a clean slate. Attorney Brian P. Gabriel has more than 25 years of experience helping those with a criminal record get a fresh start. As one of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, he can put his experience and influence in the Palm Beach County legal community to work in your favor.
Are you eager to get started? Contact our firm by calling 561-622-5575 or completing our contact form to discover whether you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged in Palm Beach County. We look forward to hearing from you.