“I have been arrested in Clay County. Even though my charges were dropped in Green Cove Springs, I still have a criminal record. When someone runs a background check, he or she can see my charges.” “I was arrested in Atlantic Beach. I went through a diversion program in Duval County and completed it. This Jacksonville arrest still shows up on my record.” “I have been trying to get a job in St. Augustine, but my St. Johns County record is hurting my chances of being hired. What can I do? How can I get rid of a criminal record?”
If you have ever been arrested in Florida, you have a criminal record. You may be able to clear and expunge your Florida criminal record. In order to be eligible, you need to meet requirements:
- Your charges must have been dropped or never prosecuted. Your charges were dropped or abandoned after you completed a diversion program, such as pretrial diversion or drug court. Your Florida arrest record has been sealed for 10 years. You need to fit into one of these categories to expunge a Florida criminal record.
- You have never been convicted of any crime. This includes knowingly driving with your license suspended or revoked. If you have been convicted of Jacksonville driving on a suspended license, you should talk to a Jacksonville drivers license lawyer at 20 Miles Law about this (Contact Us).
- You have never expunged or sealed a criminal record before. If you were a Jacksonville juvenile delinquent and had your juvenile record expunged, talk to a Jacksonville juvenile lawyer, because this may not count against you (Contact Us).
- You completed all the terms of your Jacksonville probation, paid all your court costs, and paid restitution.
“What happens when I expunge my criminal record in Florida?” When you expunge your record, your arrest and the criminal record that came along with it goes through the shredder. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps one copy for its records. All the other agencies, must completely dispose of your record. If you were arrested in Julington Creek, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department must get rid the records it has of you. If you were arrested in Middleburg, the Clay County Clerk of Courts will not be allowed to have record of it. This is different from sealing a Florida criminal record.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) keeps a copy of your record, so you cannot seal or expunge your criminal record again. If you are ever arrested again, you will not be able to hide your criminal background. The FDLE also keeps a copy of your criminal record, so certain agencies may have access to it. Those agencies are listed in Florida Statute Section 943.0585.
If you would like to expunge and clear a Florida criminal record, contact a lawyer in Jacksonville at 20 Miles Law that has experience clearing arrest records. You can talk to Jacksonville criminal defense attorney by calling (904) 564-2525.