Expunging a Domestic Violence-Related Criminal Record
In Florida, criminal records can often be expunged, typically in cases where a person was a juvenile at the time of an offense, or was acting in self-defense at the time of arrest. There are, however, certain criminal records, including records related to domestic violence charges, that cannot always be sealed or expunged. To learn more about the potential repercussions of your own domestic violence accusation, please reach out to our experienced Seminole domestic violence attorneys for help.
Qualifying for Expungement
In order to expunge a domestic violence-related criminal record, a person must be able to establish that his or her charges were ultimately dropped, dismissed, or that he or she was acquitted and:
- Has never been convicted of a criminal offense in Florida;
- Has had any juvenile felonies and misdemeanors that resulted in an adjudication of delinquency expunged; and
- Has never had another arrest record sealed or expunged in the state.
When it comes to domestic violence charges, a person cannot expunge or seal related criminal records if he or she was found guilty of, pled no contest to, or admitted committing the offense. This is true even if a court ultimately withholds adjudication on the resolution of a specific charge. Instead, the plea will become a matter of public record, which could have significant repercussions for a person’s employment or housing prospects in the future. Because there are such important repercussions for entering a plea when charged with domestic violence, it is particularly important for those who have been arrested for this offense, to speak with an experienced lawyer before going to court.
Avoiding the Creation of a Permanent Criminal Record
If arrested for domestic violence, a person has a few options for avoiding the creation of a permanent record, including:
- Entering into a pretrial diversion program, which is an agreement with the state attorney in which a defendant agrees to complete classes and community service hours in exchange for the dismissal of charges; or
- Negotiating an agreement with the prosecutor, in which the state agrees to change the charge to a non domestic violence-related crime.
For help determining whether either of these options are available to you in your own case, please reach out to our Seminole office today.
Contact Our Seminole Domestic Violence Legal Team
Being arrested for a domestic violence offense can have serious long-term repercussions. It is, for instance, generally more difficult for someone with a criminal record to obtain employment, find housing, or qualify for certain education-related opportunities. Although not always possible, there are ways to avoid some of the more serious consequences of a domestic violence accusation, so if you or a loved one were recently arrested for or charged with domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out to experienced domestic violence lawyer Justin Reep at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff. You can contact us by calling our office at 727-330-6502 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today.