Your Case is Dismissed? The record remains. Expunge it! The Pensacola Expungement Process –
Exactly what is the Expungement Process? Just because you are arrested does not mean that you did anything wrong. In many cases the charges are dropped once the prosecutor reviews the case. While the government may have dropped the case that does not mean your record goes away. Online records at the clerk’s office will show your case information and the charges. Your mug shot and booking information will still be on the jail’s website. It will show up on background checks. Odds are you are not going to want just anybody, including employers, family, and friends, to be able to hop on the internet and see everything.
Fortunately, under Florida Statute 943.0585, a judge has the ability to expunge (erase or remove) the charges from your record and direct the arresting agency to clear out all of their information about the arrest as well. There are certain requirements you must meet in order to have your record expunged. For example, you must never have been convicted of a crime anywhere in the country and you must not have previously had a case sealed or expunged in the State of Florida.
Assuming your charges were dropped and you otherwise qualify to have your record expunged, the process begins with an application to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement. In order to get your certificate you need to complete an application, have the Office the State Attorney who prosecuted the case also complete their portion of the application, and submit that paperwork, along with a set of your fingerprints and the required fee, to FDLE. It usually takes FDLE around three to four months to process your application and issue the Certificate of Eligibility. Once we have the certificate you will need to complete a sworn affidavit stating that you qualify to have your record expunged. The certificate and the affidavit are attached to what is called a Petition, which is filed with the court, requesting the judge to enter an order expunging your record related to the arrest.
All tolled, this process usually averages between four to six months to complete. If you have any questions about expunging your record and whether this remedy is available to you please do not hesitate to contact us.
Want more info? Contact me and we’ll discuss your details…