Obviously, if someone has a number of cases that qualify for a sealing or expunction, and he wanted to remove one of them, he would want to get rid of the most serious case that causes the most problems when searching for a job.
For example, he might have an aggravated battery that involved a bar fight; he might also have a grand theft case.
In this case, the aggravated battery is a more severe crime. However, the grand theft relates to honesty. As such, someone might be able to explain his way out of the purpose behind the fight; however, it’s much more difficult to explain the purpose behind a grand theft.
Therefore, the grand theft might be the less serious crime, but it might be the crime the person chooses to seal or get expunged.
Are There Any Additional Stipulations A Judge May Want To Impose For The Expungement?
No. The person is not being sentenced, and the case is over.
In this case, the person has already had the case dismissed, received a withheld adjudication, or successfully completed his probation. The court cannot impose any sanctions for this or any conditions.
The court either grants the motion or denies the motion. Therefore, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition.
Do Prosecutors Ever Try To Argue Or Block An Expungement? What Are Some Possible Barriers People Face?
The only time I experienced a prosecutor objecting to a sealing or an expungement that was properly presented to the court was when the prosecutor determined that the petitioner had not paid his costs and fees or he had outstanding debt to the court system.
In this case, the person must go back, pay the fines and fees, and then come back to court with the motion to seal. It should be granted.
Granting a sealing or expungement is completely discretionary with the court. Therefore, it’s not guaranteed, even if the person qualifies for the granting.
A court has never denied a properly presented motion for sealing or expungement that I’ve been involved with except one time. In that case, the client was hoping to seal her record. She qualified and received her certificate of eligibility.
When she went to court on the motion, the state attorney reviewed the file and found that she was in arrears for unpaid court costs. The judge denied the motion because of this. However, she was able to gather the money to pay off the fines and fees.
Afterwards, she returned to court to seal her record. At this point, the motion was granted.
Could I Go To A Different Lawyer Just For The Expungement If I Was Working With Another Lawyer On My Case?
Yes. Once the case is completed, there is no requirement to continue representation by the original attorney.
People with older cases in which either a public defender or another private attorney represented them can easily go to another lawyer to get a sealing or expungement of their record. It’s fine for them to engage the separate lawyers for that task alone.
What Are Some Of The Benefits of Hiring An Attorney For An Expungement?
The process of expungement is somewhat difficult, because all proper information must be included in the application, and the application must be notarized.
Ultimately, a fingerprint card must be created and submitted with the application. The certificate of eligibility is returned from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and a notice of hearing, a thorough motion, and a thorough order will be prepared as a result.
Notice is sent to all the individuals or agencies with copies of these documents. A hearing is set in the courtroom where the charge occurred. Afterwards, the person must appear at the hearing and know what to do in front of the judge to get appropriate results.
It’s very easy to hire an attorney for this process, and it’s recommended. Most attorneys charge a very reasonable fee for this service, and it is well worth it.
How Soon Could A Person Know He Was Eligible For An Expungement If He Called A Lawyer? Would It Take A Week Or Two Or Just A Matter Of Minutes?
A person’s eligibility to seek sealing or expungement can be determined within moments by a competent criminal lawyer. The lawyer must simply know the charge and the disposition of the case.
Furthermore, Florida prohibits sealing or expunging a case if the person was ever convicted of another crime, regardless of whether or not the person qualified for the new case.
For example, a person might have an old, forgotten DUI charge he was convicted of on his record. Then, he finds himself charged with a domestic battery or a retail theft that was ultimately dismissed.
The law in Florida prohibits the person from sealing or expunging the retail theft or domestic battery if he had any conviction. This includes a misdemeanor DUI. Any prior conviction on the record prohibits the person from seeking relief.
Therefore, the person’s record must be clean. Alternately, everything on the record must be either dismissed or withheld adjudication.
Can Someone Call And Ask an Attorney If He Is Unsure Whether Or Not A Charge Can Be Expunged?
Yes. I set out a list at the beginning of the interview that specifically tells which charges cannot be expunged. Therefore, if it is not on that list, then any other charge can be sealed or expunged if the person otherwise qualifies.
Certainly anyone can call and ask if he has a question about this. He can receive a consultation about his right to have a case sealed or expunged.
For more information on Sealing Or Expungement Hearings, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (561) 866-5717 today.