I need to be brutally honest here. I have been practicing for over 22 years and in that time, I have heard my share of stories of theft, fraud and tax evasion charges impeding someones ability to get work. I hope you will not get convicted. If you avoid a conviction, you may be able to seal your record after probation is over if it is in fact a State criminal case. I wish you the best of luck! I know you are in a tough situation and my answer may not be what you want to hear.
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I would recommend that you call the school that you plan on attending, as well as the licensing board's office (if you plan to study for a license) and ask this question of them. You want to avoid the situation where you're going to school for a field (and paying lots of money or taking out lots of student loans) in which you'll never be able to obtain a license in due to a prior record.
Please be advised that my answer to this question is based on limited facts and offered solely for informational purposes. My answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Maria E. Castagliuolo can be contacted at 727-698-3634. If my answer was helpful, please select Best Answer or Helpful. Thank you!
The answer to your question, I'm sorry to say is yes, you will likely have a problem. Not because your prospective employers will find your sealed record, but because the FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation will have access to your records. When you try to get a license in the medical field, this issue will come up and your initial application will likely be denied. If you try to open another business in Florida, then your DR-1 business application to the FL DOR will be initially denied because of this as well. Any major job you apply for will ask whether you have every been convicted of a felony and you will have the dilemma of how to answer.
What I really can't believe is that your situation rose to the level that you ended up before a judge on this issue. Normally, all you have to do is file the back returns during the FL DOR investigation and the failure to file returns issue will go away. Not paying the tax may still be an issue, but it is very rare for a failure to file returns charge to end up as the sole issue before a judge. My practice area is Florida sales and use tax controversy and I do criminal representation on sales and use tax matters as well. Lakeland is one of the much more conservative areas of the state and sales tax charges are taken very seriously.
If you have any other questions, then feel free to give me a call. My office is only about 25 minutes from Lakeland. www.FloridaSalesTax.com 813-367-2134.
James Sutton, CPA, Esq.
Many people plead guilty or no contest because it is the expedient thing to do figuring, well, I can get this record sealed. Unfortunately, they didn't read the sealing statute, which provides, among lots of other things, that some agencies, law schools, the cops, and others can always see your record no matter what you do. So if it's a professional license you're interested in, chances are the state licensing agency will be able to see your record. So even a sealing may not help you in this situation.