You have likely heard that a criminal record can follow you for a lifetime. However, you may not know that an arrest record alone (without a conviction) can also impact your life. You still have a record and must disclose the prior arrest when asked on applications. That can affect your employment outlook, housing, and so much more.
Fortunately, you do have a possible course of action. As long as you were not convicted of the crime, you might qualify for expungement. In fact, you might even qualify if the judge withheld adjudication of guilt.
Before moving forward, it is essential to know if you qualify. Thus, contact our West Palm Beach expungement attorney today to discuss your situation.
Florida has some of the toughest eligibility criteria for expungement in the country. However, you might qualify if:
- You were arrested, but charges were not filed
- The charges were dropped
- The court dismissed the charges
- You were found not guilty at trial
- Your charges were dropped after completing a diversion program
Record expungement is meant to give people a fresh start, and the State of Florida expects people to use the change in circumstances to their advantage. Thus, you are allowed to expunge only one record during your lifetime. Therefore, if you have multiple arrests but no convictions, you can only choose one record to expunge.
There is one caveat, though. If you have multiple related charges, the court might allow you to expunge them all. So consult with a West Palm Beach expungement lawyer before moving forward. After reviewing your record, the lawyer can provide guidance and help you take the necessary steps.
In many cases, you can file for expungement if a case goes to trial, but the court withholds adjudication of guilt or if you were found not guilty at trial. However, some charges can only be expunged if dismissed or dropped before trial.
You can find the list of disqualifying offenses in Sections 943.0585, 943.059, and 907.041 of the Florida Statutes. Those charges include sexual battery, kidnapping, arson, and other serious offenses. Additionally, if you were charged with conspiring to commit one of the listed crimes, you are not eligible for expungement.
With so many statutes and guidelines, it can be challenging to determine if you are eligible or not. Thus, consult with an expungement attorney in West Palm Beach to discuss your particular situation.