It is incredibly difficult to find a job in today’s economy. It is even worse if you have a criminal history, as almost all potential employers run a background check as a preliminary part of the hiring process. Whether for employment or personal reasons, Florida law allows for the sealing or expungement of a person’s criminal arrest records. With some limited exceptions, this provides an opportunity to deny the arrest ever occurred when asked about prior arrests on an employment or school application. Because this process can take approximately 3-5 months, it is important to get started well before sending out applications.
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Specific rules apply to both sealing and record expungement. For example, people are permitted to seal or expunge an arrest only once in their life and only if they do not have any prior convictions on their record. Florida law also does not allow arrests for certain offenses to be sealed or expunged no matter how that case was resolved. Further, there are rules specific to juvenile records which provide an opportunity to preserve a child’s “once per lifetime” opportunity to have their record sealed or expunged as an adult.
The specificity within these rules requires that each situation be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine if someone is eligible to have their record sealed or expunged. If a friend, family member, or colleague has an arrest record and would like to sit down with us for a free criminal history review, please contact the lawyers at Law Offices of John M. Phillips for a consultation.