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Sealing And Expungement: How To Legally Erase An Arrest From Your Record

Many people are shocked to learn that even if they were able to avoid conviction after being arrested, it does not mean the arrest is automatically removed from their record. Your arrest still may show up on basic background checks, and the records remain in the court’s system.

The good news is you can legally have your record sealed or expunged. At Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors at Law, our team of lawyers has helped hundreds of people achieve the sealing and expungement of criminal records.

What Is The Difference Between Sealing And Expungement?

You are eligible for expungement only if your charges were dropped or if you were acquitted at trial. You are not eligible if your case was disposed of by a plea. If you have no prior convictions and your charges were either dropped or you were acquitted, you are eligible for an expunction of your record. This is regardless of the crime for which you were arrested.

By contrast, you can seek the sealing of your criminal record even if you have pleaded guilty or no contest. However, you may only do so if you received a withhold of adjudication for the charge. Unlike with an expungement, there are crimes that cannot be sealed under Florida law.

Exceptions For Sealing And Expungement

When you have received sealing or expungement, you can lawfully deny that an arrest occurred. However, some crimes cannot be sealed or expunged. These include:

  • Engaging in sexual misconduct with a person with a disability
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Child pornography
  • Distributing obscene materials to children
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Violations of the Florida Communications Fraud Act
  • Voyeurism

Here are two more things to remember. If you have ever been convicted, you are not eligible for sealing or expungement. You can seek to seal or expunge only one arrest in your lifetime.

How To Contact Us

You may be able to have an arrest erased from your record. At Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors at Law, in Jacksonville, Florida, our criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in sealing and expungement. Call us anytime at 904-356-9661 or contact us online. Our after-hours number is 904-233-2443.