When a crime is committed in Orlando, Florida, the individual guilty of committing the crime must face the consequences of receiving a criminal record. This record can inhibit their ability to get a good job and may result in them facing more serious legal penalties if they are ever called in again for committing a different crime.
Though most of the time, once a person has committed a crime it will remain on their criminal records for most of their life, there are some exceptions in which a person has the option of having their record sealed or expunged so that it is not available to the public to access and it does not affect a person’s life as significantly.
For a record to be sealed or expunged, a person must apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a Certificate of Eligibility. Once this certificate is granted, a person can go forward with trying to have their criminal record sealed in court.
Some crimes cannot be sealed or expunged. This includes any serious felony or unlawful possession of illegal items. Though these crimes usually may not be excusable, there may be exceptions to the rules. A criminal defense attorney who specializes in dealing with criminal cases can inform a person on whether their situation allows for sealing or expungement of their record.
If it is possible, then a Certificate of Eligibility should be applied for as soon as possible so that matters can move forward to the court. Even if a Certificate of Eligibility is granted, a record can only be sealed when the court allows it.
What is the difference between a sealed record and an expunged record?
Sealed records prevent the public from having access to them. However, government entities still have access to the sealed information. Expunged records, on the other hand, are not available to the public and not available to most government entities as well.
It is important to note that for a record to be sealed or expunged a person should not have been convicted for prior a crime before this arrest. It is also important to keep in mind that even if a person obtains a Certificate of Eligibility and the court approves the sealing or expungement of their information, all the information regarding a person’s arrest will not be eliminated. Mugshot photographs and arrest information on private websites may remain even after the records are sealed.
Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Donald A. Lykkebak to determine if there are exceptions available and if a person is entitled to have their criminal record sealed from the public.
Reach us at:
390 N. ORANGE AVE.SUITE 2300 ORLANDO, FL 32801