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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Westin Expungement & Sealing Lawyer

Westin Expungement & Sealing Lawyer

Research has shown that having an arrest record—simply an arrest record, not even a criminal conviction—makes it significantly harder to find a job. And if you were ever arrested and found guilty of a misdemeanor offense, finding employment becomes even more difficult. A criminal record not only makes it challenging (or impossible) to find quality employment, but it also makes it more difficult to be approved for a car loan or home mortgage. It even makes it difficult to procure tenancy, as landlords can perform a simple background check on prospective tenants, and typically decide to go with the person with a clean record when given the option. If an arrest that did not lead to a conviction is keeping you down in life, expungement is an option for you. Or, if you were charged with a nonviolent crime but not found formally guilty, you may be able to have the record sealed from public view. To get your life back on track, we encourage you to discuss your options with our Westin expungement & sealing lawyer at Haber | Blank LLP.

How Expungement Can Erase Your Arrest Record

No one should be punished for a crime they did not commit and were not convicted of. Yet, this happens every day—people get arrested, and the charges are later dismissed, but the record and the stigma of being put in cuffs remains. Expungement is a legal tool that can be used for people who were arrested, but were later acquitted, the prosecutor dropped their case, the judge granted a motion to dismiss, or they won in a trial. The only other criteria needed to be eligible for expungement is not having any other convictions from the past. Expungement erases a criminal record to the degree that you can legally deny ever being arrested or charged with a crime, even under oath.

Record Sealing Can be Used for Nonviolent Crimes

Record sealing is similar to expungement, but it hides, rather than erases, a criminal record from potential employers and loan officers, and others who wish to perform background checks. However, record sealing can be used when you were arrested and one of the following was true, as long as adjudication of guilt was withheld (you were not formally convicted):

  • You plead guilty
  • You were found guilty
  • A judge ordered sanctions

Once your record has been sealed for 10 or more years, you can apply for expungement, which essentially erases your criminal record, versus hiding it.

Record Sealing Cannot be Used For Violent Crimes

If you plead guilty, were issued sanctions, or found guilty in a court of law, yet no formal conviction was handed down, there are certain scenarios in which you cannot seal your record. These “forcible felonies” include crimes of violence and serious crimes, such as assault, battery, sexual assault, aggravated assault, drug trafficking, etc.

Call a Westin Expungement and Sealing Lawyer Today

Expunging or sealing your record is the best way to move on from the past. To get a fresh start today, call the Westin expungement & sealing lawyer at Haber | Blank LLP at 954-767-0300 to schedule a free consultation.