The Difference Between Sealing and Expunging Florida Record

Clear Jacksonville Arrest

Who is looking at your FL Criminal Record?

Some Duval County high school students are arrested for a Jacksonville Juvenile crime.  They may be arrested for Jacksonville petit theft or grand theft from the Avenues Mall or St. Johns Town Center.  They may have picked up Florida juvenile delinquent charges at school in Nassau County, FL.  This does not mean that they should have a criminal background that will follow them forever.  What about a college student that is arrested in St. Johns County for Florida possession of marijuana or possession of cocaine?  This criminal charge could have a huge impact on his or her ability to pass a criminal background check.  That will affect his or her ability to find a job.  A person under 21-years-old is caught drinking under age at a party in Clay County.  He or she given a notice to appear ticket or citation for Florida possession of alcohol by a minor.  He or she must set a court date within 10 days of the date of the notice to appear ticket.  Even though this citation looks just like any other Florida ticket, it is not.  It is a criminal charge.  It will create a criminal record.  Now what?

If you have been arrested in Florida or given a notice to appear citation, there is a criminal record documenting this.  You may be able to seal or expunge your Florida record.  Before entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) and disposing of your case, talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer.  Click on Find Lawyers or call (904) 564-2525.  The way you dispose of your case will have a serious impact on your ability to expunge or seal your Florida criminal record.

What is the difference between sealing and expunging a Florida criminal record?  If the record is sealed, each State and government agency that has a copy must seal the record.  That record cannot be opened by anyone.  It can only open it under strict circumstances that are set forth in Florida Statute Section 943.059.  If the criminal record is expunged, the records must be shredded.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) keeps one copy on file pursuant to Florida Statute Section 943.0585.

Should I seal my record?  Is it better to expunge it?  Which is the best way to erase the criminal charges and clear my background?  An expunction and Florida record seal are both good ways to clear your criminal background.  Most Jacksonville Criminal Lawyers would say that expunging a Florida record is better than sealing your record.  This is because the file is shredded.  As a Jacksonville criminal attorney that has sealed and expunged many records over the years, a record expunction is not that much better than a record seal.   A record seal is still a good way to pass most background checks.  There are some crimes that cannot be sealed in Florida.  You do not have the option to choose to expunge your record over sealing it.  Whether you are able to expunge or seal your record will depend on they way your Jacksonville criminal defense attorney disposed of your case.  There are also other factors involved.

You may be wondering, “Can I Seal My Florida Criminal Record? Can I Expunge My Florida Criminal Record?  You can seal or expunge your Florida record if you meet certain statutory requirements.  You may be able seal your Florida criminal record if you were not convicted or adjudicated guilty of the crime. Either the court withheld adjudication, or you were found not guilty after a trial.  If the State Attorney dropped the charges or declined to prosecute your case, you may be able to expunge your Florida criminal record.  Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 for help from a Jacksonville criminal lawyer.



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