Your criminal history record is available to the public, including your arrest and the disposition of your case. If your records are sealed, they are not available to employers or the public, but can be viewed by law enforcement, court personnel, and other government officials. In expungement, also called expunction, those officials cannot view the actual files without a Court Order.
You cannot expunge a criminal charge if you pled guilty or no contest(including withheld adjudication) or were found guilty at a trial. Generally, you may be able to expunge records of misdemeanor or felony crimes if:
- You were arrested and processed but never formally charged
- Charges were dropped by the prosecutor or dismissed by a judge
- You were acquitted (found not guilty) at trial
Should you wish to pursue a Petition to Seal a criminal case, most offenses are eligible if the Court “withheld” adjudication and therefore a formal conviction. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, also known as FDLE, publishes a list of various violent and/or sexual offenses that are excluded from eligibility for a Petition to Expunge. Contact the team at Tesmond Law today for a free telephone consultation as to whether your case may be eligible to be sealed. In today’s internet age, it is critically important to seal and/or expunge any possible court records that are eligible to be removed from the public domain.