Seal / Expunge
Depending on your criminal history and how your case is resolved you may be eligible to restrict public access to your case. You are eligible to have your case expunged if the charges against you are dropped and you have not previously been convicted of any crime. You may be eligible to have your case sealed if you pled guilty or no contest and adjudication was withheld and you have not previously been convicted of any crime. You can only seal or expunge one case in your lifetime. The difference between sealing and expunging is that when a case is sealed, the clerk’s office places your file in a restricted list and does not allow public access to the file. When your case is expunged, the file is destroyed and its contents will no longer be available. In either case, you can lawfully deny the arrest.
Call Erick Cruz to find out if you are eligible to have your case sealed or expunged. Erick will also handle the process of sealing or expunging your case. First, we must determine your eligibility to seal or expunge your case. This requires that we conduct a background check to verify your eligibility. After Erick determines that you are eligible, he will obtain a certified case disposition of the case you want to seal or expunge. While he does that, you must get fingerprinted on a form provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The application, certified disposition and fingerprint card are submit to FDLE. Unfortunately, the processing of the application by FDLE can take anywhere between four to six months.
After FDLE processes the application and determines your eligibility, they will issue a certificate of eligibility. The certificate of eligibility along with a motion and an affidavit are filed with the clerk’s office and the case is set for hearing. At the hearing, the judge will read the petition and Erick will ask the judge to seal or expunge the case. After the judge signs the order sealing or expunging your case, you can lawfully deny the arrest and public access to the file is restricted.
Law enforcement agencies and immigration and customs officers will always know of the arrest. Similarly, employment requiring extensive background checks such as in the medical or legal profession will disclose the arrest. The signed order sealing or expunging the case, however, can also be useful in submitting to Internet mug shot databases and requesting that they remove your entry.
Call Erick and let him help you seal or expunge your case.