We have previously discussed the most commonly asked questions about expunging your criminal record in Florida. Part one and part two can be found by clicking on the links. The final batch of questions may can be found below.
What Are Some Issues Related To Expungement / Sealing?
What Would Be The Most Common Reason An Application Would Be Denied?
There are several reasons that the application can be denied. The most common reason is going to be eligibility. If you are not eligible to seal your record, they are going to deny it. However, it could be a clerical mistake at times.
Oftentimes, if your record is not eligible, you won’t proceed, but some people insist on trying and go ahead and doing it. They realize that they don’t have a great chance but they want to at least try. Other times it can be just a clerical mistake, so it’s important that if your record gets denied, follow-up with it.
Your attorney can go ahead and call the Department of Law Enforcement and state that they feel like this case should not have been denied. They’ll generally give you a reason as to why it was denied. If it’s something clerical, the attorney can fix it and resend the application. If it’s within their discretion and they deny it, then at that point, you’re pretty much stuck.
You also have to remember that it’s not a constitutional right to get your case sealed or expunged. It’s certainly within their discretion. Sometimes they feel for whatever reason that public policy warrants not sealing or expunging the case but 99 % of the time, if you’re eligible, the case will get sealed or expunged.
Could Someone Try This On Their Own And Be Successful Without An Experienced Attorney?
You’re going to want an experienced attorney. The offices of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. can do everything in-house. This includes getting all paperwork together such as the fingerprint card, preparing the affidavits and having them signed and notarized. It will be a lot smoother process if have an attorney do it.
It’s a two-part process. The first part is going up to Tallahassee in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The more difficult part for an individual, would be getting on the court docket in front of the chief judge and getting the order signed and ensuring that all the relevant agencies do actually seal or expunge it. That’s something that they monitor and follow-up on.
You could certainly try to do it on your own but it is recommended that you hire an experienced law firm such as Blake & Dorsten, P.A. to handle everything. They handle thousands of these types of cases and they’re very experienced and knowledgeable on the topics. It’s worth the time and the effort to consult with the office of Blake & Dorsten and make sure it’s done right the first time.
What Does A Record Actually Look Like If It Has Been Successfully Expunged Or Sealed? Is There Any Indication Of It At All?
The beautiful thing about sealing and expungement is that it’s literally sealed. Even prosecutors do not have access to the record. What’s even better is that you can literally testify under oath that the arrest or the crime was never committed. You can lie about your prior record and say it never happened and be legally on firm-footing when you do that.
More importantly, there are some data mining companies out there that take information from the internet. If someone puts your booking photo or your mug-shot out after it’s been sealed or expunged, and it costs you from getting a job, you can actually sue that person depending on how it happens, for the defamation or slander.
So, your record really is going to be sealed and it is going to be shut from the public. It’s actually a pretty powerful process which really gives you an opportunity to have a do-over and to get your record erased from existence.
Is Sealing And Expungement A Stressful Process?
Sealing and expungement is a very powerful tool and it is recommended to anyone eligible. It’s a process that’s going to take a little bit of time and it’s going to be pretty involved if the attorney is involved. However, as far as the client, they just come in the first time, sign the affidavit, get fingerprinted, pay the fees and the costs and then let the attorney take it from there.
It’s not going to be stressful or time-consuming for the individual. They’re not going to have to make any appearances in court. A good firm, like the office of Blake & Dorsten, will take care of everything. It’s highly recommended for everyone.
If you think you’re eligible or you may be eligible and you haven’t explored this option, it’s important to call the office of Blake & Dorsten P.A. Set up a free consultation to determine if you’re eligible and get started right away.
If you need information related to Expungement / Sealing, call the law office of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. for a free initial consultation at (727) 286-6141 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.