Help With Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records in Fort Myers, Florida
As a trusted Fort Myers criminal defense law firm, clients turn to us not just to defend them against criminal charges but also to see whether records of past convictions can be sealed or expunged. Florida law provides many avenues for sealing and expunging criminal records, but the options are limited to only certain circumstances. To discuss what opportunities might be available to you, contact Foley & Wilson Law Firm to speak with our knowledgeable and experienced Fort Myers criminal defense lawyers.
The Importance of Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records
Criminal records can have a lasting impact on your life, affecting your employment opportunities, housing prospects, and overall quality of life. Fortunately, Florida law provides mechanisms for individuals to clear their records through the processes of expungement and sealing. These legal remedies allow you to limit access to your criminal record or, in some cases, remove it entirely.
Expungement vs. Sealing in Florida Law
Florida Statutes 943.0585, 943.059, and 943.0515 outline the procedures for expunging or sealing criminal records in the state. Although similar in nature, expungement and sealing are two different processes with different impacts on criminal records:
- Expungement: Expunging a record means that it is physically destroyed or obliterated from public records, and it is as if the criminal incident never occurred. Only certain eligible offenses can be expunged, and the process is more comprehensive, requiring the involvement of various agencies.
- Sealing: Sealing a record, on the other hand, restricts access to the record, making it confidential. While not entirely erased, sealed records are not accessible to the general public, including potential employers and landlords. More types of offenses are eligible for sealing than expungement, and the process is typically more accessible.
The Process of Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records in Fort Myers
- Eligibility Assessment: Before proceeding, it’s crucial to determine if your case is eligible for sealing or expungement. Our experienced attorneys at Foley & Wilson Law Firm will review your case thoroughly to assess your eligibility.
- Petition Filing: Once eligibility is confirmed, the next step involves filing a petition with the appropriate court. This petition must be carefully drafted and submitted according to the legal requirements outlined in Florida Statutes.
- Background Check: A comprehensive background check is conducted to ensure that you meet the statutory criteria for sealing or expungement. This includes verifying that you have no prior criminal convictions and that the incident in question qualifies for these remedies.
- Court Hearing: In some cases, a court hearing may be required. Our legal team will represent you throughout the process, ensuring your rights are protected and advocating for the best possible outcome.
- Record Sealing or Expungement: If the court grants your petition, the records will either be sealed or expunged, depending on the chosen remedy. This marks a crucial step toward a clean slate and the opportunity for a fresh start.
Why Choose Foley & Wilson Law Firm for Record Sealing and Expungement in Fort Myers?
Our commitment to treating clients with professionalism, dignity, and respect means that we will seriously examine your situation and work with you toward a favorable outcome in the most efficient and effective manner. When you choose Foley & Wilson Law Firm for your sealing or expungement needs, you benefit from:
- Vast Experience: With over 45 years of combined legal experience, our former prosecutors have an intricate understanding of the Florida legal system.
- Personalized Service: We treat each client as an individual, tailoring our approach to meet your unique needs and circumstances.
- Legal Expertise: Our team is well-versed in the various procedures for sealing and expungement in Florida, including juvenile expungement, administrative expungement, and others.
- Advocacy: We are dedicated to protecting your rights and advocating for the best possible outcome throughout the sealing or expungement process.
Contact Us Today for Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records in Fort Myers
If you are seeking to seal or expunge your criminal records in Fort Myers, Florida, Foley & Wilson Law Firm is here to guide you through the process. Don’t let past mistakes hinder your future opportunities. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you take the first steps towards a brighter future.