All it takes is one error in judgment, one minor indiscretion, or one stupid mistake and the next thing you know, you have a criminal record. It wasn’t long ago that most official documents required applicants to disclose if they were ever convicted of a crime. Now, every application you fill out asks if you've been arrested. If you ever hope to put your past mistakes behind you, you can’t just stick your head in the sand and pretend your arrest never happened.
You do have options. Contact Robert Malove to find out how you can have your records sealed.
How an Arrest Record Can Come Back to Haunt You
Employers, banks, landlords, credit card companies, colleges, and universities all run background checks. If they discover you were arrested and charged with a crime, they'll likely reject your application.
Imagine two equally-qualified candidates applying for a new job. The employer must decide who to hire. Each applicant receives a second interview, but one candidate has a criminal history record that turned up in a background check of having been arrested for DUI, drug possession, domestic violence, shoplifting, or some other embarrassing criminal offense. Who do you think will get hired? Even without a conviction, the candidate with a clean background check will win every time.
Make sure you're never in that situation. You need to do whatever you can to protect and safeguard your reputation. Take action and get your arrest record sealed and expunged. When you talk to our criminal defense attorneys, we'll take a look at the circumstances of your criminal history, and ask questions like the following:
- Was your case dropped?
- Did you go through a diversion program?
- Were you on probation?
- Were you found not guilty?
- Did your judge withhold adjudication of guilt?
If "yes" is the answer to any of these questions, we may be able to help you get a fresh start. If you're in this situation in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, or anywhere in between, schedule an appointment at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove to discuss your options.
Who's Eligible for Sealing or Expungement in Florida
Under certain circumstances, you can either get your arrest record sealed—so that it's no longer available to the public—or have the arrest completely removed from your record, a process known as expungement.
In Florida, these people may be eligible for sealing or expungement of their criminal records:
- Individuals with a final disposition where their case was dropped or dismissed, or where they were found not guilty, can immediately apply to have their record expunged.
- Persons who weren't convicted and received a withhold of adjudication as part of the final disposition of their case can also get their criminal history records expunged after their cases are sealed and they remain crime-free for 10 years.
- Only individuals never guilty of any crime are eligible to have an expungement of criminal records.
If you're able to take advantage of this option, it’s important to be aware of the following:
- Sealed and expunged information still exists—often in a sealed court record, which is not accessible to the public—even though it’s been removed from your criminal record.
- Police departments, the FBI, immigration officials, and some licensing boards are still privy to expunged information.
Hire a South Florida Attorney to Help With This Complex Process
Getting a criminal history record sealed or expunged is no sure thing. While you're not required to have an attorney representing you when applying to have your criminal record sealed or expunged, the process can involve complex legal issues, and you'll want an attorney working on your behalf. Contact The Law Offices of Robert Malove to guide you through the expungement process.