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West Palm Beach Expungement Lawyer

Everyone has engaged in behaviors at a young age that they are no longer proud of and no longer reflects who they are as an individual in society. For some, this includes criminal behavior. A criminal record can follow a person around in life, impacting their ability to secure employment or impacting their personal relationships. To help former offenders move forward in life, it is possible to seal or expunge criminal records. If you have a prior criminal record and are looking to move beyond it, a West Palm Beach expungement lawyer can help answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Eligibility for Expungement

Florida law allows an individual to seek for records to be sealed or expunged once in a lifetime. In order to be eligible, you must not have any convictions. Moreover, only some offenses are eligible. The following are disqualifying charges for sealing or expungement:

  • Terrorism;
  • Illegal use of explosives;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Murder;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Stalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Fraud;
  • Procuring a minor for prostitution;
  • Child pornography;
  • Arson;
  • Child Abuse; and
  • More.

Steps to Expunging a Record

According to The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the first step to expunging a record is to fill out the application for the Certificate of Eligibility. Along with the application is a fingerprint card that will need to be submitted as well. Florida Statute 943.059 states that the certificate of eligibility remains valid for 12 months, but that is not the final step in the process. After the issuance of a certificate of eligibility, an individual will still need to file a petition, along with the certificate and affidavit, in a court of proper jurisdiction. There is also a $75 processing fee. 

Types of Expungement

  • Administrative Expungement;
  • Court-Ordered Sealing or Expungement;
  • Juvenile Diversion Expungement;
  • Lawful Self-Defense Expungement;
  • Human Trafficking Expungement;
  • Automatic Juvenile Expungement; and
  • Early Juvenile Expungement. 

What is the Difference between a Sealed Record and an Expunged Record?

The public will not have access to sealed records or expunged records. When a record is sealed the only people who have access to it are certain governmental or related entities. For instance, the record will still show up on a criminal background check completed if you are planning on seeking employment with a criminal justice agency or becoming a licensed Florida lawyer. When a record is expunged, the only way to access it would be through a court order. Criminal justice entities and the Florida Bar would be given the information that your record has been expunged, but the actual record would not be given to them. A qualified expungement lawyer will help you determine what you qualify for and which process to go through.

Contact an Expungement Attorney in West Palm Beach Today

Expunging or sealing your prior record is an important step to take in order to secure a brighter future. Contact William Wallshein, an experienced West Palm Beach expungement attorney for guidance on the process given your particular history. To schedule a free consultation, call 561-533-1221 today.

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