My case was dismissed because I was a first time offender and got a pre-trial diversion option. I filed a petition for expungement of my arrest record. I was arrested for retail theft (felony).
If you are having a hearing it is likely because the state attorney's office has objected to your motion. You should hire an attorney to handle this matter. While it seems simple to fill out paperwork and file documents with a Court, it becomes a different matter when you have to actually appear before a judge. An attorney that handles theses matters on a regular basis should be well aware of the case law regarding sealing of records; knowing exactly what to say to have a better chance of success in the hearing.
Normally the State Attorney's office does not object to expungments. But since this case invovles a felony retail theft, which is considered a crime of dishonesty, the ASA may be objecting. Further, because it involves a crime of dishonesty it is very important to get those records expunged. Even though the case was dismissed through pretrial diversion, it is the type of charge that will follow you around and cause difficulty with your career in the future. Therefore, it is very important to have an attorney assist you with the hearing so that you have a better chance at an expungement.
please note: answers to these questions do not create and attorney/client relationship. It is best to consult with an attorney in person for a more definitive answer.
The State may object depending upon the prosecutor. You should be prepared to argue that you regret your prior bad choice (don't call it a mistake) and be prepared to tell the Judge all the ways your life has moved into a positive direction. Or consider hiring a lawyer.You can find one that will help you by using this website.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.
If it is an expungement then the State should not be objecting because they had to approve your application before you sent it to FDLE. Expungements are judicial processes and are handled in open court. Since you are pro se and have filed your own expungement, you need to go to court on your schduled date and at your scheduled time. If you filed correctly, there should be no problem. The judge will look over your petition to make sure all the necessary documents are attached. They will - as a matter of formality - ask the State if they have any objection. The standard response is, "as long as all the paperwork is in order, no objection from the State." Then it will be granted. An order will be signed and you will get a certified copy mailed to your last known address. Within a few days, your information will be purged from the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts database, as well as all other public databases.
The judge will probably not ask you any questions. If you have made any mistakes or have not included the necessary documents in your petition, then you may need to refile.
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