Federal criminal charges can follow you around for the rest of your life—even if you were cleared of the crime. Every time you apply for a job or try to rent an apartment, a criminal background check will uncover your arrest record, and you will have a lot of explaining to do. You may be able to protect your reputation by sealing or expunging the record, but in the age of the internet, you will also have to take additional steps to clear your name.
When Can You Expunge a Record in Florida?
If you are arrested and charged with a federal crime in Florida, the record of that arrest will be permanent, regardless of the outcome of the charges. That means that even if the charges are dropped before trial or you are found not guilty at trial, the arrest record and the mugshot that was taken at the time will be available to anyone who looks for them. This can have a detrimental effect on many areas of your life, so it is worth looking into the possibility of having this record sealed or expunged. A sealed record will be hidden from public view, including background checks, but still exists. An expunged record is removed completely. A federal defense attorney will help you determine which option is available to you. A few important points to understand include the following:
- You will not be eligible if you have any other criminal convictions on your record.
- You only get one opportunity to expunge or seal a criminal record, so you do not want to waste it on a minor charge.
- An arrest that results in a sentence of any kind is not eligible for expungement; however if a sentence is issued, but adjudication is withheld, the court may agree to seal the record of the arrest.
- The process of sealing or expunging a record is time-consuming and involves a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines, but an attorney can help you with the process.
Why Expungement May Not Be Enough
Unfortunately, even when you have gone through the legal channels to clear your name, your arrest record can probably still be found through a Google search. There are dozens of websites that update arrest records and mugshots daily for anyone to search. Of course, these websites don’t care if the arrested person is eventually cleared or if the record has been sealed or expunged. The information and your mugshot could be out there forever. You will have to send these companies confirmation of the court order that sealed your arrest record, but they may charge a fee to have the information removed.
Let Attorney Daniel Izquierdo Help You Clear Your Name
If you were cleared of federal charges in Florida, you want to do all you can to get a fresh start. We will guide you through the process of erasing this black mark from your permanent record.
Have You Been Charged With A Federal Crime In Florida?