Though people can grow and mature, sometimes their past can follow them. Particularly in the case of people with a criminal record, their past mistakes can haunt them and interfere with their future success.
Thankfully, in certain cases, it may be possible to seek an expunction of a record. Before pursuing this option, it is important to be aware of a few key facts.
An expunction is the complete removal of a criminal record. While the process is tedious, those who are able to get charges removed from their records set themselves up for greater opportunities in the future. This action effectively removes common barriers people with criminal records face, such as job discrimination, restrictions on rental and home options, and the general perception society has of a person.
Different from sealing
It is important to note that an expunction is not the same as sealing a record. Sealing a record does not remove the charge. As the name indicates, courts seal off the criminal record from the general public. However, certain governmental agencies are still able to access the record. The requirements for obtaining a sealed record are also different from that of an expunction, though it is similar that parties are only able to receive a record sealing one time.
In the state of Florida, there are strict requirements for an expunction. The major qualifying factor is that the party did not receive a conviction for the criminal charges. Those seeking an expunction must also complete the paperwork and process properly. Parties cannot have previous expunctions, which in turn means they may be ineligible for expunctions in the future, should they receive one upon request.
Though pursuing an expunction is not easy, it can be quite beneficial for those who qualify.