What You Need to Know to Seal Your Criminal Record in Sarasota, FL

One arrest can follow you around for the rest of your life, even if you were never convicted. Having that “black spot” on your record can severely affect your professional life and employment. If you were arrested and the charges against you were dismissed, dropped, or you received a withhold of adjudication, it is likely that we at Pallegar Law, P.A. can seal your criminal history. Contact an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney today at Pallegar Law Firm to find out if you are eligible to have your criminal record sealed.

What happens when you Seal your Criminal Record?

If you have had your record sealed, you can legally deny the arrests in the sealed record. The public will not have access to the sealed part of your record and it will not show up on a potential employer’s criminal background check. However, certain government bodies will have access, including judges and criminal justice agencies. Also, you cannot legally deny the arrests if you are applying for immigration or admission to the Florida Bar, are involved in a criminal case, or are employed or seeking employment to a criminal justice agency, the Department of Children and Family Services, or any private or parochial school.

The sealing process may take up to 9 months to complete in entirety. However, much of this process is waiting for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to issue you a Certificate of Eligibility so you are able to have your record sealed. If you decide that you would like to have your record sealed, contact a Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney today.

The first step in the sealing process is to complete some paperwork that your attorney will provide to you. This includes two pages you will need to have notarized, and one page for your fingerprints. Once the application fee is paid, FDLE will issue a Certificate of Eligibility. Then your attorney will have to petition the court and state attorney and you will have to pay for the final sealing and any outstanding court costs.

Am I Eligible to Have My Record Sealed?

In the state of Florida, you can only seal one arrest record. However, you can seal multiple arrests as long as they are directly connected to each other. You are not eligible to have your record sealed if you have already completed the sealing or expunging process for a different arrest.

There are many reasons why you may not be eligible to have your record sealed. You may not seal your record if you have a prior criminal conviction, if you had a prior record sealed (in any state), if you have an open criminal case or are on probation, or if your charge was one of the following disqualifying offenses. Even if you received a withhold of adjudication after a plea of guilty or no contest, you may not seal the record if the charge was: abuse of an elderly person, domestic violence, aggravated assault or battery, arson, child abuse, drug trafficking, homicide, kidnapping, organized fraud, manslaughter, or child pornography. (A full list of offenses can be found in Section 943.059 of the Florida Statutes).

If you or someone you know has been arrested and think they may be eligible for sealing, contact a Sarasota criminal defense attorney to explore your options. All you need to do is complete some paperwork and we will do the rest. Call Pallegar Law, P.A. today at 941-893-5816 to seal your criminal record.

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I could not be more satisfied and grateful for Mr. Pallegar and his team!! I found myself in some trouble when visiting Florida on vacation. When I got back home up north I started looking for local lawyers in the area and after reading recommendations and reviews, Mr. Pallegar was the clear choice. I did not have to appear in court a single time and Mr. Pallegar treated me as if I was his only client always keeping me in the loop and explaining every step of the process. Living 800+ miles away from where I got in trouble, and having someone put that much dedication and effort into my case is more than I could have asked. I will be sure to recommend anyone I know that needs help to seek out Mr. Pallegar and if you are looking for an honest, intelligent, personal, and professional representative, Mr. Pallegar is your answer. Aaron
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Pallegar Law, always put my family first, their team always explained things in full detail, and got the very best results possible. They genuinely care. Our family will forever be grateful. Thank you. Dennis
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He took me on and from the word go communicated everything in a timely and professional fashion about how everything is going to be played it; and then delivered word for word. The best part about them apart from their professionalism and efficiency would have to be their honesty which lets you entrust them, which in today's day and age is a rare virtue. Hemant
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Excellent communication skills between the staff and client. I always felt I was in the know as to what to expect next. Ajay was up front on possible outcomes of the case and did not promise unrealistic results. Hope to not need them again, but definitely would recommend them. Steve
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