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I hired a lawyer to expunge/seal my case. but he sealed/expunged the wrong one. what do i do?

Miami, FL |

i have the contract that me and the lawyer signed with the right case number and all. it was a mistake on their part.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

First thing is to let your attorney know. They are obligated to straighten this out for you if that was all parties' understanding. It's possible that a motion can be filed to fix this but talk to your attorney about your options.

Ricardo Martinez

Ricardo Martinez

Posted

Mr. Epifano is correct that you should speak with the lawyer that handled this for you. It is possible that the charge you wanted expunged/sealed did not qualify under Florida law or if you entered a plea agreement, the type of sentence you received is also a major factor. You can go to the FDLE website and see what charges are disqualified from being expunged.

Posted

I agree with the previous answer. I comment only to say that I'm not sure the problem can be corrected. You are allowed only one sealing of a record in a lifetime.

Posted

Make sure you refer back to your agreement that you signed with your attorney. The agreement should have the charge and case number that is being expunged or sealed. If the record sealed or expunged is different from the one indicated in the agreement, then your attorney has not done the job you hired him or her to do.

I believe this can be corrected but it will be difficult. You can file motions to open expunged/sealed records for immigration purposes (when DHS needs certified documents). The attorney will first need to contact FDLE and see about getting a new certificate issued. This will be a bureaucratic nightmare but I believe that with enough persistence something may get accomplished. While FDLE is a pretty well-run organization, it's still the government and the government is very rigid and unwilling to help those who have made mistakes.

FDLE will not allow you to benefit from this mistake by having two sealed/expunged records. One in your lifetime here in Florida, that's the law. So you will likely have to have the court first unseal or unexpunge (if that's even a word) the old record, then literally apply for a new expungement and go through the process again.

I feel bad for you. This sounds like a really pain. For future reference, make sure all terms of representation are in writing with your attorney and if your attorney is not communicating with you as he or she probably should (and we all get busy), it's your job as the client to call your attorney and follow up.

Posted

This question makes no sense to me. I do not believe the lawyer was able to seal one case when you had a separate case that was not sealed. You should check with your attorney and make sure you understand what happened. More than likely, he/she was unable to seal your record because of a second case.

Legal disclaimer: This answer does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. www.lygnoslawfirm.com Free Consultation 813 259-9494 Michael Lygnos, Esq., Lygnos Law Firm P.A., Serving Tampa Bay, Florida