Can I have my criminal record erased?

When an individual faces criminal charges, one of the main concerns of a criminal defense attorney is to see to it that prosecutors are doing their job correctly and that the defendant's rights are protected. Minimizing the consequences of criminal charges is the basic goal of any criminal defense. One of the important consequences of criminal charges, of course, is that it will go on the defendant's criminal record.

A criminal record can impact a number of aspects of one's life, from applying to jobs to finding housing. Fortunately, there is a legal process that allows for the scrubbing of a criminal record in some circumstances. This is called the expungement process. Both adults and juveniles may be able to have their record expunged, though the requirements are different for each.

Not all criminal charges may be expunged, but only those which meet certain requirements. Eligible charges which are dismissed prior to trial may be expunged immediately, as long as all the charges in the cases were dismissed prior to trial and they are otherwise eligible. On the other hand, in cases in which the defendant was acquitted at trial and cases in which adjudication was withheld, charges may not be expunged unless they are first sealed for a minimum of ten years.

Similar to expunction, not all criminal charges may be sealed, and a criminal history record cannot be sealed if the applicant has been judged guilty—or delinquent for any felony or certain misdemeanors, in the case of a minor—of any criminal offense in any jurisdiction, regardless of whether the charges are related. So, the requirements are fairly strict.

In applying for expunction of a criminal record, it is necessary that an individual first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. We'll pick up on this point in our next post, and continue speaking about expunction.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Badge 1
  • Badge 2
  • Badge 3
  • Badge 4
  • Badge 5
  • Badge 6
  • Badge 7
  • Badge 8

Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA for a free case evaluation today

In Tampa, call (813) 345-4909. In Orlando, call (888) 496-5916 . For fast answers, email us using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Footer Brand

Tampa Bay Office
511 West Bay Street Suite 330
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 813-345-4909
Tampa Law Office Map

Central Florida Office
121 South Orange Avenue Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
Orlando Law Office Map

South Florida Office
Northbridge Tower
515 North Flagler Drive
Suite P-300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
South Florida Office Map

South Florida Office
Brickell Bay Office Tower
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Suite 2700 M-1
Miami, FL 33131

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 305-859-0046
Miami Law Office Map