Can I Have My Child’s Criminal Record Expunged or Sealed?
Once your child has successfully completed any kind of probationary period and life has gone on with no further incidence of criminal activity, as a parent it’s natural that you wouldn’t want this incident in your child’s past not to impact his or her future. Unfortunately, though, your son or daughter may have difficulty with employment, housing, or in other situations where part of the process calls for a Florida criminal background check. It’s also unfortunate that, in this day and age, anyone with a computer is actually able to pull you your child’s arrest record, photo and booking information. One unfortunate mistake as a youth can come back to haunt an adult for years. So exploring the possibility of sealing or expunging your child’s record is definitely worth exploring. If it is possible to seal or expunge your child’s records the advantage is that their criminal record will no longer be available to the general public or as a matter of public record. Also – either process gives you the legal right to deny or not acknowledge that you were arrested on applications, etc. If your record is sealed it means that it’s physically sealed and put in a vault, and the only way anyone has access to the record is through a court order. The information about the charge is removed from the Criminal Information Justice system, and if anyone does a background check on you, the record won’t show up. After your record has been sealed for 10 years with no further incidence, you can apply to have it expunged. If your criminal record is expunged it means that the physical record is actually destroyed except for one copy, again only viewable by someone with a court order. Again, your record will never show up on any background check, plus it’s removed from all Criminal Justice Information Systems, and you can legally deny that you were arrested on any form that asks for this information. It’s important to note that both of these processes are becoming more difficult to do in the state of Florida, and that all law enforcement agencies are holding on to records for longer and longer amounts of time. Again, this is where you need an experienced juvenile justice attorney to help you, as both sealing and/or expunging a criminal record can be a very involved and difficult process with many variables. It’s certainly worth it in terms of peace of mind and future life opportunities, however, so if there is any way your child may qualify for this process, you should definitely proceed with attempting to accomplish it.Read More