Sealing and Expunging Criminal History
St. Augustine Criminal Defense Law Firm
If you need legal assistance with the sealing or expunging of your criminal records in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, or St. Johns, Florida, we advise you to contact a criminal defense attorney at Taylor & Taylor as soon as possible. Our firm has been assisting individuals with this civil legal action for decades. In a free, initial consultation we can review your situation and advise you on your legal options in achieving a sealing or expungement in Florida.
In an expungement, a legal action is initiated through the courts in which the petitioner asks the court to destroy his or her criminal record, which makes those records unavailable to the public through Florida or federal repositories. This means that you can treat the events of your criminal record as if they never happened. Expungement may be granted only to those who are eligible. The eligibility requirements include: never having been convicted of or pled guilty to a criminal charge, or had adjudication withheld in the arrest or charge for which expungement is sought, the individual is not on probation, and has never had an expungement in any jurisdiction.
Sealing Your History from Public Records
Having a criminal record sealed means that those records are placed under highly restricted access. A copy of the record will be retained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other criminal justice agencies but it will not be a public record and will not be available to anyone other than the individual, his or her attorney, and to criminal justice agencies for certain purposes, such as approval for the purchase of a firearm or in other situations.
The difference between an expunged and a sealed record is that an expunged record is usually physically destroyed while a sealed record is held to be confidential. Regardless, both options may give you the right to deny that you were ever arrested for the offense.
A St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer can help you to obtain an expungement or sealing. This involves filing motions with the courts and may require an appearance in court. Contact an attorney at Taylor & Taylor today if you wish to pursue an expungement or sealing of your criminal record.