Why would you want to seal or expunge your Florida criminal record? It is obvious. You do not want other people to see your criminal history. You want to put your past behind you. Maybe you were falsely accused of a crime. You may want to seal or expunge your Jacksonville juvenile delinquent record before filling out college applications. You may already be in college, and you want to erase criminal charges before you enter the work force. Many people want to seal or expunge their records just in case they decide to apply for a new job or seek a promotion that requires background screening.
The bottom line is that you want to seal or expunge your Florida record, because you do not want someone to see it. It is important to know the difference between sealing and expunging a criminal history. Expunging your Florida record is better than sealing it. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or FDLE:
“When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety. When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that ‘Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record.’”
In order to expunge your record, you must fulfill certain criteria. Click on Can I Expunge My Florida Criminal Record? to go through the requirements of a record expunction. If you are not eligible for a record expunction, you may be able to seal your criminal background. Click on Can I Seal My Florida Criminal Record? to see if you are eligible for a Florida record seal. Sealing your record may not be as strong as expunging it, but it is still a good way to stop most employers from seeing your criminal past. If you seal your Florida criminal record, only a handful of agencies will have access to your arrest record. Here are the circumstances in which a person may be able to see your criminal record after it is sealed:
1. You are a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
2. You are a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
3. You have filed concurrent or subsequent petitions for relief under 943.059 or 943.0585;
4. You are a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar (seeking to become a Florida lawyer);
5. You are seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly;
6. You are seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities;
7. You are attempting to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer and is subject to a criminal history check under state or federal law; or
8. You are seeking authorization from a Florida seaport identified in s. 311.09 for employment within or access to one or more of such seaports pursuant to s. 311.12.
Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 to talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer about sealing or expunging your record. A Jacksonville criminal attorney with experience will be able to help you properly clear your Florida criminal background.