In Florida, merely getting arrested sets you up with a criminal record whether or not you are convicted. This criminal record can:

  • Damage your reputation for life
  • Appear on background checks
  • Harm your ability to secure a loan, get a job, rent an apartment, and obtain professional licenses

The skilled Tampa expungement attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett are experienced in the legal procedures and processes involved in acquiring an Order to Seal or expunge criminal records.

What is an Expungement in Florida?

According to the American Bar Association, expungement is a legal process whereby a criminal charge or conviction is removed entirely from your permanent record. Most individuals don’t realize that an arrest will appear on background checks even if they have not been convicted. This can create challenges and limitations that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Expungement can help you eliminate this record whether you were found not guilty or convicted of the crime.

The records are permanently erased when a criminal record is expunged. State and federal courts are instructed to respond as if the arrest or conviction never happened. If the process is duly completed, your records will be sealed from the courts and public records. Anyone searching for your criminal background will find nothing about the charges against you.

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Qualifying for an Expungement in Florida

Specific legal processes are in place to apply for an expungement in Florida. You need the help of a dedicated expungement attorney if you want successful outcomes. You will need to provide an application for a Certificate of Eligibility with basic information regarding the:

  • Date of arrest
  • Agency that arrested you
  • Charges you incurred

You will also need to get the Certificate of Eligibility notarized and provide a certified disposition of the charges you want to be expunged. This needs to be submitted to the county court where you were arrested. The process has many steps making it essential to work with a skilled expungement attorney. You may have the request denied entirely if you miss a step.

Time Taken in the Expungement Process

Due to the several forms involved and structured communication with judiciary systems and the state, expungement can take a lot of time. While the often extended timeline of expungement can be frustrating, you can feel confident that there will be no preventable delays when you hire the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett. The average time taken to have a record expunged is between 15 and 18 months. It may take longer if your arrest involves several agencies, as we must erase your records from all agencies. The attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett can take the proper steps to ensure this happens quickly.

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Consult with our Knowledgeable Expungement Attorneys in Florida to Have Your Records Expunged

At Carlson Meissner & Hayslett, our expungement lawyers in Tampa have decades of experience helping clients with petitions to Seal and Expunge. Our capable and proven criminal defense attorneys believe everyone deserves a second chance. We are committed to employing all available resources to achieve our client's goals.

We are dedicated to ensuring you receive the strongest possible legal representation from beginning to end. To request your free, no-obligation consultation with our dedicated Florida expungement lawyers, call us at (727) 306-0273 or complete our online form.

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