What Does it Mean to Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record?
When a court in Florida orders a criminal record to be expunged or sealed, it means that the record is wiped or hidden from the individual’s record and will not show up when anyone—a potential employer, landlord, or a credit-lending agency—asks for background check reports. But there are differences between these two methods for clearing a criminal record.
Sealing prevents public access to a record, but certain government entities will still be able to access the full record. For example, if applying for a job in law enforcement, the law enforcement agency may access and view a sealed record.
If the record is expunged, the public still has no access to the record and the government entities that have access to a sealed record can only see that a record has been expunged. So if the law enforcement agency were to run a background check, it would see that a record was expunged, but could not view the record. A court order must be obtained to access the expunged record.
When Can a DUI Arrest Record Be Expunged?
In Florida, a DUI arrest record cannot be sealed or expunged if the defendant has been adjudicated guilty. So unless the defendant is acquitted, the DUI case was dismissed, or the defendant was charged with lesser crime (like reckless driving) and then received Withhold of Adjudication, the record cannot be sealed or expunged. Importantly, adjudication for DUI cannot be withheld.
Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer for Drivers with DUI Convictions in Florida
The process of trying to clear a criminal record by sealing and expunging a DUI arrest in Florida is complex. That is why many drivers require the services of a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer who can build a convincing case for reducing the charges or challenging the charges in court.
The Law Offices of Robert David Malove offer legal help to drivers in Fort Lauderdale who have been arrested for DUI and are facing the penalties. Contact our firm online or give us a call at 954.861.0384 to schedule a free case evaluation with our Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer.