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What Crimes Can Be Expunged?

April 29, 2019

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The word "expunge," as it applies to a criminal case is a process ordered by the court in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal record is erased. Basically, this means the criminal record is removed from the system and is no longer beheld against the person who was arrested in the first place. There are many factors that go into determining what crimes can be expunged. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can help you get criminal records expunged from the criminal justice system.

Expunged Record
Is there a difference between sealing a record and expunging a record? Yes. When a record is sealed, the record still exists, both legally and in physical form, but in general terms can no longer be seen. A record that has been expunged is gone, both in a legal sense and a physical sense. Does this mean all records that have been expunged are no long accessible? Not necessarily. An expunged record is not always completely erased, however, an expungement may be an accessible part of a person's criminal record that can be viewed by some government or other law enforcement agencies in a limited way.

Not all states allow the expunction of a record; and in some states, including Florida, there are some stipulations. There are many factors that go into determining whether or not a record can be expunged. Jurisdiction, the type of crime, how much time has gone by since the arrest, and criminal history are all factors that play into getting a record expunged. This is another reason having an expungement lawyer is so important. A criminal defense lawyer can help navigate all of the specifics to obtain the result of getting a criminal record expunged.

What Crimes Can Be Expunged

Again, the crimes that can be expunged, as well as the conditions for having them expunged, depends on the state. Some states will allow some felony records to be expunged, if the case was dismissed it can be expunged, other cases may be elegible for sealing. Serious felonies include violent crimes, severe sexual offences like rape or child pornography, and other violent crimes will typically not be eligible for expungement or sealing. These include any sexual crimes toward a child, child abuse, capital murder, murder in the first degree, second degree murder, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and driving a commercial vehicle under the influence. A criminal defense lawyer can help you determine which of your criminal records are eligible for sealing or expunction.

Car Robbery
In Florida, all types of criminal charges can be expunged if a case was dismissed but only certain types of cases, under certain circumstances can be sealed. Crimes of a sexual nature and crimes involving violence cannot be sealed in Florida. Some of these include luring or enticing a child, sexual battery, procuring a person under 18 for prostitution, lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, voyeurism, lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled adult, sexual misconduct of any kind with a mentally impaired or mentally ill person, or sexual performances on a child.

Some non-sexual crimes cannot be sealed in Florida, including violations of the Florida Communications Fraud Act, arson, aggravated assault and battery, child abuse, abuse of the elderly, illegal use of explosives, kidnapping, homicide, manslaughter, home invasion, and carjacking. The list of crimes that cannot be sealed in Florida is extensive, so consulting with a criminal defense attorney in Florida for legal advice is extremely important. A list of ineligible crimes can be found on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Application for Certification of Eligibility form.

Misdemeanor offenses and crimes that do not fall under the ineligible list may qualify for expungement and/or sealing in Florida provided you meet the following criteria:
  • You've never had a previous sealing or expungement in Florida
  • You've never been adjudicated guilty of any criminal offense
  • You're not presently under any type of court supervision, including probation, house arrest, or pretrial release
  • You haven't entered a guilty plea or no contest to an offense that is ineligible for sealing or expungement under Florida law.

Currently, the State of Florida is backed up and the process of having a criminal charge expunged or sealed can take up to a year from start to finish. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, they are currently working on applications from August 2018. Miami criminal defense attorneys can help you get this lengthy process started and completed more quickly.

United State Laws
The laws regarding expunction and sealing vary from state to state and from one jurisdiction to the next. Having a local criminal defense attorney in your corner is the best way to ensure you have all the facts. If you want to have a conviction expunged or sealed, it is important to get a lawyer who can help you determine the specific laws in your area (and in some cases the area where the conviction happened).

Are you in need of a Miami criminal defense lawyer to help you get a record sealed or expunged from your record? The firm of Donet, McMillan & Trontz is here to help. We are happy to offer outstanding representation to individuals who have been charged with a criminal offense. We will provide top-notch, trusted legal counsel to clients from all walks of life. We have had a long history of obtaining favorable results for clients in danger of losing their reputations over criminal records, including undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. If you have a criminal record you would like expunged, contact us for a free consultation to see if we can help you. Call us at Donet, McMillan & Trontz. One of our expungement lawyers will be happy to discuss your situation with you and help you get the process started today.

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