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In order to move on with a regular life such as by gaining employment, buying a house in a new locality or resuming an educational degree, many people prefer to have their previous criminal records ‘expunged’.
This article details all the necessary information that you as a resident of Florida should have, with regards to “Expungement”.
What exactly is Expungement? Is It The Same as a Pardon?
Expungement refers to the legal process of clearing or sealing arrests, charges and minor convictions from a person’s record. A Pardon (a.k.a. Executive Clemency) on the other hand refers to when the convicted person is forgiven for their crime but the crime still remains in their record.
Getting criminal records expunged helps convicted people in moving on with their life as their criminal records are entirely erased or cleared. This way, they can apply for jobs or education with ease without having to be tensed about background checks.
What Are the Laws Governing Expungement? How to Get Records Expunged?
As far as Expungement in the United States is concerned, the laws vary from state to state. Each state follows its own set of laws ranging from fairly easy to highly complicated.
The state of Florida has laws such that a person may have their criminal record expunged if the record has been sealed from more than a decade or did not lead to conviction.
The costs in Florida might be around $900 for the attorney fee such as the criminal defense attorney in Tampa, and $75 for the Expungement petition. The process takes from around 5-7 months on average; however, the length of the process may differ based on a few factors such as:
- Whether you want to get your record sealed or expunged completely
- The time in which the state attorney wraps up the disposition of your case
- Which county your case will be in (the efficiency of the county clerk’s offices also matters)
- How quickly the Florida Department of Law will issue the Certificate of Eligibility
- The procedure followed by the judge for Expungement cases
In order to move on with the process of Expungement, you need to follow these listed steps:
- As a starter, you have to first determine whether or not you qualify for Expungement. To determine, check the requirements:
- Has your case been filed by the district attorney? Were you convicted of the crime?
- Have you ever tried getting any of your records expunged or sealed?
- Are you at the moment under supervision of court such as under probation or community control or any court mandated program etc.?
- Have you received a “Withhold of Adjudication” for your offense?
- If none of the requirements answer ‘no’, then you are eligible to qualify. However, if any of the requirements answer ‘yes’ then you are not eligible.
You can get more assistance by contacting and retaining an experienced lawyer having expertise in the domain.