If you want to seal or expunge your Florida criminal record, you must meet certain requirements. Among other things, you cannot have a criminal conviction. This means that you were never adjudicated guilty of a crime. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I ask my clients about prior criminal cases. I want to know if they have ever been arrested before. We need to make sure that none of those prior arrests resulted in a conviction. If they have a conviction, this will make the client ineligible for a Florida record seal or expungment. A prior arrest is not the only thing that we need to look into. Florida traffic tickets may also cause a problem. While most Jacksonville traffic tickets are civil citations, some are criminal cases. For instance, a Florida speeding ticket is a basic civil infraction and has nothing to do with your criminal record. However, there are tickets that are also criminal charges. For example, if you were involved in a hit and run car accident, this is leaving the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident in Jacksonville is a criminal charge. Jacksonville driving on a suspended or revoked license is also a common criminal traffic charge. Reckless driving is a type of traffic ticket that is also a crime. If you were cited for a criminal traffic charge, you need to tell the Jacksonville criminal attorney that will be sealing or expunging your record. She may want a copy of your background check to make sure that your were not convicted of the crime.
It is important that you and your Jacksonville criminal lawyer are aware of your prior to arrests and notice to appear citations. When you apply for a certificate of eligibility, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will run an extensive background check on you to make sure that you fit all of the requirements. The FDLE will check with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine your eligibility to have my criminal history record sealed or expunged. The FDLE’s website states:
“A criminal offense such as DUI, Driving While License Suspended/canceled/revoked, or reckless driving may appear in the DHSMV database even though it may not be entered in the criminal history record system maintained by FDLE. Although non-criminal traffic offenses (such as careless driving) have no affect on eligibility to seal or expunge a criminal history record, an adjudication of guilty for any criminal offense renders the record ineligible for either form of relief.”
Before you apply for a certificate of eligibility, talk to your Jacksonville lawyer about your criminal record and driving record to make sure that you are eligible. You do not want to spend time and money sealing or expunging your Florida record when there is something stopping you from finalizing the process. If you would like to begin the process, speak with a Jacksonville attorney with experience. Call (904) 564-2525.