How to Expunge Criminal Records
Hi, I’m attorney Kevin Hayslett. Never before in the history of our country has your criminal record been more important to you. I’ve seen over the past 5 years the incidences where people have not been hired for jobs because their criminal record increased ten-fold. We now have applications that used to say “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” and now they say “have you ever been arrested?” And this includes misdemeanors. It’s extremely important to understand that if you have been arrested or have a prior arrest record, now is the time for you to expunge your criminal background, getting it off your record, so it doesn’t get in the way of your future employment, your credit history, or anything else that may involve you disclosing your prior arrests or convictions.
To make this happen, you need to understand how to expunge criminal records. Many people believe if they enter a diversion program, or if they enter a plea that doesn’t result in a conviction, that their criminal record is automatically dismissed/ expunged/ sealed. That is not the case. Even if you have had your case dismissed because the prosecution did not go forth with the prosecution, or you successfully finished a diversion program, or you entered a plea and received a withhold of adjudication or no contest—if you had your case resolved in any way, form or fashion—that does not mean it was sealed or expunged. You need to take the next step to make that happen to expunge your criminal history. And here is how you do it:
The first thing you need to do is hire a lawyer to help you with the process. The first thing they will do is get a complete history of your criminal record. The next thing that happens is an application to either the local prosecuting authority or, in most states, the Department of Law Enforcement and they will do a background check to make sure that is the only case you have or that the way your case was resolved will allow to ultimately be sealed or expunged. That will also involve you getting a print card and submitting your fingerprints to ensure you’re the person that pled. After that occurs, your lawyer will attend a court hearing, giving that information to the judge; in order to acquire a court order which is needed to expunge your criminal history—meaning the arrest is taken out of public view. Once this happens, in most states, you can truthfully say to a future employer, “I have not been arrested; I do not have any criminal record” and it will be off the record books.
You need to understand that if you want to expunge your criminal background, you need to take the next step to get it sealed and expunged. If you have a prior arrest or conviction, is it not time to address it? It doesn’t take that much time and it will save you money. Take the time now, contact a lawyer, and get that information to him or her—so you can expunge your criminal history because, when you do that, you can proceed knowing your records are not viewable to the public. It will help you get that job; get that promotion; help you with your credit or whatever it is that is preventing you right now from having a clean slate.
The criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. are fighting for our clients rights in criminal defense cases in Clearwater, Tampa, Bradenton, Spring Hill, Pinellas, Pasco, New Port Richey, Manatee, Hillsborough and Hernando Counties in Florida.
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Kevin Hayslett, Esq.
J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.