In my career as a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I have learned that it is easier to explain Florida’s criminal laws and procedural rules by applying the law to facts. In order to explain how many times you can expunge or seal a Florida record, I want to apply it to a set of facts.
Imagine that you were arrested in Duval County for Jacksonville grand theft in 2006. You hired a Duval County attorney. Your charges were bumped down to misdemeanor Jacksonville petit theft charges. You pleaded guilty or no contest to the theft charge as a misdemeanor. You were given time served for your jail sentence. You paid your court cost to the Duval County Clerk of Court. The conviction was withheld. In 2010, you were given a ticket in Clay County for driving while your Florida license was suspended. Because you believed that this was merely a Florida traffic ticket, you went to court without a Clay County lawyer. You were convicted of Florida driving on a suspended license. Since the Florida driving charge was for knowingly driving with your license revoked or suspended, this was a criminal conviction. You have been looking for a job. Finally, you had a great interview. You believe that the new employer will hire you. A week later, you receive a phone call. You did not get the job, because of the grand theft charge in Jacksonville. Now, you want to expunge your Florida criminal record.
In this scenario, you cannot seal or expunge the grand theft charge. This is because you have a Clay County Florida driving on a suspended license conviction. If you have a Florida suspended drivers license conviction, talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer to see what your options are. If you were given a withhold of adjudication on the driving on a suspended license charge, you may be eligible for a Florida criminal record seal. A criminal conviction will stop you from sealing or expunging a record.
Let’s pretend that you were given a withhold of adjudication on the Jacksonville driving on a suspended or revoked license charge in Clay County. Then you can seal the Jacksonville theft, because you no longer have a conviction in your criminal background. You cannot seal both the Florida suspended license charge and the grand theft. You must pick one. You cannot expunge your FL record. You can seal it, because adjudication was withheld. If your charges would have been dropped or dismissed, you could have expunged the grand theft case.
A Jacksonville record seal lawyer can at your criminal background to see if you can erase your Florida record. Normally, you can only seal or expunge one arrest. The Florida record expunging law and record sealing law are very similar. This is Florida Statute 943.0585, which is used for expunging a Florida criminal record. It is almost identical to Florida Statute 943.059. Section 943.0585 states:
“The court may only order expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity, except as provided in this section. The court may, at its sole discretion, order the expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest. If the court intends to order the expunction of records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not expunge any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the order to expunge does not articulate the intention of the court to expunge a record pertaining to more than one arrest. This section does not prevent the court from ordering the expunction of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity.”
Basically, you can only seal or expunge one arrest. There is a separate record expungment rule for juvenile expunctions. This will depend on the Florida law that was used to expunge the Jacksonville juvenile arrest. You may read Expunge a Jacksonville Florida Juvenile Delinquent Record for more information on expunging a Jacksonville juvenile delinquent record.
If you have any questions or want to clear your Florida criminal background, call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525. You may speak with a Jacksonville lawyer about erasing an arrest for a background check.