Expunging Or Sealing A Criminal Record Must Be Done By An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2014 – Being arrested for a crime may impact on the ability to get a job.
“While you may have been arrested for committing a crime, it does not mean you committed that crime. However, if it generates an arrest record, this may affect your ability to get a job and ruin your reputation with your workers, friends and neighbors. There are options open to you to deal with this record, expungement or sealing. I can explain both and which may best suit your circumstances,” says Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.
A criminal defense lawyer is the only avenue open to those with a record to have their criminal history removed from the public arena, including getting a mugshot removed from the Sheriff’s website and getting the information pertaining to the arrest erased from the clerk’s online records. This results in the ability to lawfully deny an arrest.
Those charged with crimes need to speak with a competent criminal defense attorney before they land in court. “This is because the ability to expunge or seal your arrest record may be harmed if charges are not resolved in the right way,” adds Grajek. “With the multitude of websites showing mugshots and posting arrest details online, you need to protect your reputation as expediently as possible.”
Sealing a record is only possible if the individual has no criminal convictions listed. This means if they plead to a criminal charge, the result must be a withhold of adjudication for every charge requiring a plea. However, some criminal charges mean a record cannot be sealed.
“For example, a domestic violence arrest cannot be sealed, whether there is a withhold of adjudication or not. Do not go to court without speaking to experienced defense counsel. It may mean the difference between being able to remove your record from the public eye or not,” explains Grajek. “It may even be possible to plead to an alternative charge in order to be able to seal a record later.”
Even if charges are dropped, an individual’s information is still in the clerk’s files and a mugshot appears online. The record would show the individual was arrested and charged and the charges dropped. However, this is public information and not everyone takes the time to read the details. To make that record vanish requires the expertise of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.