If you have an arrest or conviction on your criminal record, it has likely created problems for you. When you apply for a job, a record of your arrest can be accessed in a background check, even if you were found not guilty. Unfortunately, people are judgmental. If all that a prospective employer sees is a DUI arrest, you could easily be passed over.
Expungement Vs. Sealing A Record
There are certain crimes that can be expunged or sealed, and others that cannot. The two processes of expunction and sealing are different. In an expungement, the record is only accessible by court order, and when sealed, it is not available to the general public (such as a prospective employer) but can still be accessed by law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system and military. We have provided you with a general outline of the process.
The first step in the process is to get a Certificate of Eligibility, which allows you to petition the court for a record sealing or expungement. This certificate must be notarized, and you are required to be fingerprinted by law enforcement or other criminal justice agency. You are also required to provide a certified disposition about the case you are asking to have expunged or sealed. Any item that is missing on your request, or submitted incorrectly will lead to your application being returned to you without being processed.
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Most people take a far easier route and just call upon an attorney to get the record sealing or expungement completed. As you are not a legal professional, you could make a minor error that will delay the process. As with any legal matter, for the layperson, it can be confusing and almost impossible to complete correctly. Note that in Florida, you only have the opportunity to request a seal or expunge one time in your life, except under certain circumstances.