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Getting convicted in Florida is not only punishable by harsh criminal penalties such as jail/prison time and fines, but it can also result in a criminal record. Unfortunately, having a conviction on your record can make it extremely difficult to obtain or maintain employment, apply for a college or university, and live a normal life. 

However, you may be eligible for expungement or record sealing. If your records are expunged or sealed, then you do not have to disclose your arrest or conviction in background checks. 

Expungement means your criminal record cannot be viewed by the public or by a government agency, unless the agency has a court order. While record sealing also prevents the public from accessing your record, most government agencies will still be able to view it. 

In general, if you were convicted of a first-time misdemeanor offense except for a DUI charge, you are eligible for expungement or sealing in Florida. If you were convicted of a felony, you cannot have your record expunged or sealed. 

The following are several disqualified offenses: 

  • Domestic violence assault and battery 

  • Aggravated assault 

  • Sexual misconduct 

  • Lewd or lascivious offenses involving a minor 

  • Luring or enticing a child 

  • Any sex crime resulting sex offender registration 

  • Child abuse 

  • Human trafficking 

  • Kidnapping 

  • Arson 

  • Burglary 

  • Robbery 

  • Illegal use of explosives 

  • Drug trafficking 

  • Drug manufacturing 

  • Manslaughter 

  • Murder 

When it comes to victims of human trafficking who have been arrested for or convicted of prostitution or an obscenity offense, they are eligible for expungement – as long as they provide a sworn statement of your eligibility for expungement and any documentation demonstrating you were a human trafficking victim, if applicable. 

If you are interested in filing for expungement, you must apply for an eligibility certification from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Since the rules of having your record expunged is quite complex, you may need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you complete all the necessary paperwork, obtain the necessary documentation, and help you put the past behind you for good. 

If you have been arrested in Miami, contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today at (305) 400-0074 for a free case review. Get a former prosecutor with more than 19 years of experience on your side! 

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