Do you want to clear your Florida criminal background? If so, you may want to expunge your Florida criminal record. If you want to expunge your record, you must be eligible under Florida Statute Section 943.0585. There is a checklist that will determine your eligibility (Can I Expunge My Florida Record). In most cases, you can only expunge one arrest. The pertinent portion of 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.”
What if you were arrested one time but for multiple crimes? Will your Jacksonville criminal lawyer be able to expunge all of the crimes? Perhaps. The Florida First District Court of Appeals addressed this problem in Oymayan v. State. The facts of this Florida record expunction case are as follows:
“Oymayan was arrested on December 27, 1995, and charged with possession and sale of cocaine on November 29, 1995; possession and sale of cocaine on December 1, 1995; possession of cannabis on December 27, 1995; and maintaining a dwelling for the use or sale of controlled substances between November 29, 1995, and December 27, 1995. After Oymayan had successfully completed several pretrial programs, the state nolle prossed the charges. A year later, Oymayan filed a petition to expunge all records pertaining to his arrest and charges. The state opposed the motion, contending that he had committed three unrelated drug offenses on three different dates; therefore, Oymayan was entitled to expungement in one case, but not all three. The trial court agreed and expunged records pertaining to the charges of November 29, 1995, while denying further expungement by written order.” Oymayan v. State, 765 So. 2d 812, 813 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2000).
The Florida appellate court found that the lower court made a mistake when interpreting the law that applies to expunging a record in Florida. The appellate court stated:
“The trial court misconstrued section 943.0585 in that the court held that Oymayan’s nonjudicial records were not subject to expunction, because the charges as to each date did not involve a single arrest or incident and were ‘separate from and unrelated to’ each other. On the contrary, they did involve one arrest, which occurred on December 27, 1995, and section 943.0585 expressly authorizes a trial court to expunge records relating to ‘one arrest or one incident.’ (Emphasis added.) The statute does not provide that a court may expunge records related to one arrest so long as the arrest involved but one incident. It subsequently allows the court to order expunction of records ‘pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest.’” (Emphasis added.) Oymayan, 765 So. 2d at 814-15.
While a judge can refuse to expunge a record in Jacksonville FL, there must be a legal reason for the refusal. As the Florida appeals court stated, “A trial court must consider all the facts and circumstances of a petitioner’s case. The offenses with which Oymayan was charged occurred within a one-month period, and once he was arrested he performed each of his post-arrest obligations successfully and committed no further offenses. The fact that Oymayan was charged with offenses occurring over a period of three days rather than for one ‘isolated, single incident’ does not by itself warrant denial of the petition seeking expunction of judicial records.” Oymayan, 765 So. 2d at 815.
If you are interested in expunging or sealing your Florida criminal record, talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney about your options. You may speak with a Jacksonville attorney by calling (904) 564-2525.