Palm Beach County Expunge and Seal Records
A criminal record can follow you long after you have moved on from that part of your life. A criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach County can help free you from that criminal record by having the record sealed or expunged.
If you are looking for work as a law enforcement officer, teacher, childcare provider or other public service industry profession, a criminal record may hurt your chances of landing that dream job. Likewise, a criminal record may haunt you when you search for housing or educational opportunities or apply for a loan. If you are living in Palm Beach County and having trouble finding a job because of your criminal record, an expungement could be the answer.
Whether you’re in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach or elsewhere in Palm Beach County, The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. can help determine whether you are eligible for record expungement and guide you on the path to a future free of that burdensome criminal record.
The first step on that path is examining the specifics of your case and determining whether you meet the criteria for a record expungement. At The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Mr. Foley is knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law. He will help you get an accurate idea of your chances be sealed or expunged and then get the process moving so you can move on with your life.What Distinguishes Sealed Records From Records That Have Been Expunged?
If you were ever arrested, fingerprinted, or issued a Notice to Appear, you will have a criminal history, even if the charges were dropped or dismissed. This information is public, but when your record is sealed or expunged, then the record is no longer publicly available.
When a record is sealed, it could still be accessible to government and law enforcement agencies and some future employers, i.e. in the education and medical fields.
When a record is expunged, it is no longer available to anyone other than the Federal Bureau of Investigation and even then can only be accessed through a long legal process. That means no one will be able to access it in the future. No employer, other law enforcement agencies, or lawyers will be able to see it.What is the Process?
The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. will guide you through the process, which generally takes between four and seven months. First, you will be supplied with the necessary paperwork for fingerprinting. Then, the Mr. Foley will file the necessary documents with the State Attorney’s Office and send a petition to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in Tallahassee requesting that the record be expunged or sealed.
When Mr. Foley receives the certificate of eligibility from the FDLE, he will then file a motion on your behalf, set the matter for hearing in court. He will argue it before the judge if necessary.
Finally, if the judge approves your motion, your record will be sealed or expunged. The Clerk’s office will give certified copies of the approved motion to law enforcement agencies with copies of the record to be sealed or expunged. You will need to pay the Clerk a $64.50 fee to remove your name and record from computer databases that list you as a criminal defendant.How Much Will it Cost?
There is a $1,250 retainer fee plus $75 for the FDLE application fee. The retainer is reduced to $1,000 plus the $75 FDLE fee for existing clients.How do I Know if my Record can be Sealed or Expunged?
If you met all probation terms, obeyed all court orders and had no subsequent criminal offenses, these factors will weigh in your favor.
There are specific charges that cannot be sealed or expunged. If you pled nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty to any of these charges, you will not be able to have the record sealed or expunged, regardless of whether the court withheld adjudication.
However, you can still have these cases expunged (not sealed) if the state attorney failed to file the case, if the case was dismissed by the state, or if you were acquitted of the charges at trial.
For the Florida statute regarding record expunction, see §943.0585, Fla. Stat. (2009).
For the Florida statute regarding record sealing, see §943.059, Fla. Stat. (2009).
To learn more about expunging or sealing your criminal record, contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley in West Palm Beach today.