Florida Expungement Lawyer

A DUI DEFENSE LAWYER THAT HAS YOUR BACK

GET AN AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE FROM OUR ORLANDO DUI LAWYER

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most destructive charges a person can face, and yet is one of the most common causes of arrest in Florida. A DUI charge is also unique in that many people charged with this crime are first-time offenders, many of whom did not realize their actions constituted a criminal offense.

In fact, in Florida, you can receive a DUI even if you are not driving a vehicle. This phenomenon is defined as “actual physical control,” meaning that an officer can arrest you if your “normal faculties” are impaired while you are in a position to render a vehicle readily operable.

Even simple DUI cases carry enhanced statutory penalties that distinguish this offense from other misdemeanors. Some of the penalties may include jail time, probation, heavy fines, driver license suspension, ignition interlock, substance evaluation classes and follow-up treatment.

DUI law in Florida is complex, as the offense is “enhanceable,” meaning the charge becomes progressively more serious if you have had a DUI involving alcohol or drugs in the past. Beyond that, if someone is injured or killed as a result of your case, you will likely face felony DUI charges, which carry significantly more serious penalties. Criminal charges can strongly impact your future, which is why you should turn to a skilled defense lawyer.

There are many defenses for a DUI charge of driving under the influence. If you have been arrested for any level of DUI, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Orlando DUI lawyer immediately. Call Panella Law Firm now at (407) 233-1822 to discuss your case.

Hire a Florida Expungement Lawyer to Seal Your Records

Are you looking for a Florida expungement lawyer to have records of a case brought against you or a conviction sealed?

A Florida expungement lawyer can help. In most cases, if your record is sealed or expunged, the public will not be able to see it.

In Florida, if you’ve been arrested, you have a criminal record. That record exists whether you’ve been convicted of a crime or not.

Many of us make mistakes, especially in our youth. If you’re now leading a law-abiding life, it is tough to have a criminal history that can stay with you.

That criminal record can show up on background checks by employers or landlords or even in searches by curious neighbors or romantic partners. Your criminal record can affect your ability to get a job, secure a loan, or rent an apartment if anyone chooses to run a background check on you.

What Counts for Criminal Records Expungement

If you’ve been convicted of a felony, that case is not eligible for criminal records expungement. Generally, the only records that can be expunged are those involving misdemeanors.

Additionally, however, it’s important to note that criminal traffic offenses, such as a guilty plea or a finding of driving under the influence, cannot be expunged. Nor can you have a conviction for driving with a suspended license expunged.

In some cases, however, if there is no actual conviction, the record could be expunged.

How an Expungement Lawyer Protects Your Record

There are different guidelines to getting a record expunged, depending on whether you were arrested and not convicted or arrested and convicted.

Sealing or Expunging Cases if not Convicted

If you were not convicted, you may be eligible to have the record expunged or sealed. To qualify in these cases, the following must be true:

  • You have not had a criminal record expunged or sealed in the past, whether in Florida or in another state.
  • You do not have another pending case for sealing or expungement.

A full list of the requirements related to sealing or expunging records in Florida is available from the state Department of Law Enforcement.

There is also a statute that covers those who were arrested “contrary to law or by mistake.” Applications for these so-called “administrative expungements” can be filed by law enforcement agencies if there was an error in law that led to an arrest by mistake. An experienced expungement lawyer can also file on behalf of a client.

Sealing or Expunging Cases When Found Guilty

There are many crimes that are ineligible for expungement or sealing if you pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or were found guilty. For example, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence or of any felony, you cannot have those records sealed or expunged.

Using an Expungement Lawyer in Orlando

To file for an expungement, the first step is to get a certificate of eligibility. You can download or be sent a copy of the application from the state Department of Law Enforcement.

The application asks for your:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Mailing address
  • Permanent address
  • Arresting agency
  • Date of arrest
  • Charges.

If you were given a Notice to Appear, use that date instead of the date of arrest.

The application needs to be signed and dated in front of a notary public or deputy clerk of the court. The following requirements are also needed:

  • A written certified statement page by the relevant state attorney or statewide prosecutor (for expunctions only)
  • A certified disposition for each case or criminal charge on the application. These can be obtained from the clerk of court in the county where the case or charges were brought.
  • Proof that probation was completed if you were placed on probation.
  • Documentation showing completion of any mandated diversion programs.

Getting a legal issue sealed or expunged requires careful planning and counsel from an experienced expungement lawyer in Orlando. Your probation must be completed, fines paid and community service completed.

FAQs

The laws around sealing or expunging criminal cases are complex. Her are a few of the most common questions.

  • What is the difference between sealing and expunging?

    Sealing and expunging cases are similar but different processes. When your criminal record is sealed, any information held by a justice agency or the courts is no longer accessible to the public. The information can only be accessed if a judge orders the records unsealed, which is a rare occurrence.

    Expungement is different. It means that the physical records related to your case are destroyed except for one copy each kept by the state Department of Law Enforcement and the clerk of the court. However, the public cannot view either copy.

  • What cases are covered by Florida sealing and expungement law?

    You can have certain cases against you as a juvenile or an adult expunged.

  • Can I have multiple arrests or convictions sealed or expunged?

    No, you can only seal or expunge one criminal episode.

  • Can I have any conviction sealed or expunged?

    Unfortunately, felony convictions and some misdemeanors cannot be sealed or expunged. For a complete list of ineligible charges, see here.

  • Will I need to appear in court?

    Usually, a court appearance is not required, unless the sitting judge mandates it. However, if possible, it’s a good idea to make a court appearance, as it demonstrates your commitment to this matter and your desire to resolve it.

Get Your Cases Sealed Or Expunged With Florida Legal Expertise

If you’ve had a criminal charge or conviction that you don’t want people to know about, call the legal team at Panella Law Firm for a free consultation. We can explain your rights and what steps you can take to seal or expunge that record, keeping it hidden from employers and others doing a background check.

Don’t risk a past mistake from causing you to lose a job, a loan or a relationship. Protect yourself by contacting Panella Law Firm at (407) 233-1822 today.

Attorney Mike Panella

For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial. [ Attorney Bio ]

Contact Attorney Michael Panella

Need a criminal defense service? Turn to Panella Law Firm and contact us today with your question.

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