My boyfriend has a record from 2014 the case was dropped since I stopped prosecution. He went to pre trial and got offered to drop his charges to misdemeanors. He has misdemeanor for battery domestic violence class m1, false imprisonment felony class f3, tampering with a witness felony class f3. His lawyer was suppose to handle this but it hasn't been updated and when he tries to apply for jobs they wont hire him because these charges still show. He has did a complete 360 since being locked up and has been trying everything to get a job to support me and his son. Wanting to know how much we are looking at to expunge this and what the best option is. He was not convicted of the charges as well.
Sealing is available in a case where you received a withhold of adjudication, and expunction is available in a case which was dismissed, nolle pros'd, no actioned or where you were found to have been not guilty. In Florida you can only seal or expunge one eligible (non-disqualified) offense in your lifetime.
If you look at the following website you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the sealing / expunction process:
I also strongly encourage you to read my AVVO Legal Guide on Sealing and Expunging Records in FL as it contains valuable information supplemental to this answer and should prove to be helpful to you. For your convenience the both links follow and are attached at the bottom of this answer:
Michael A. Haber, Esq.'s AVVO Legal Guide on Sealing and Expunging Records in FL: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/sealing-and-expunging-records-in-fl-a-legal-guide-by-michael-a-haber-esq-miami-criminal-lawyer?published=true
The procedure is both quite detailed and somewhat painstaking but is also far from being rocket science. You can attempt to navigate it yourself (FDLE has tried to simplify it - again I refer you to the website above) but, assuming your eligibility, any criminal defense lawyer (anywhere in Florida - this can be done remotely and does not necessarily require a local attorney, although a local attorney may or may not be less expensive) will be able to accomplish the task with greater ease and likely in a shorter time period.
That said I suspect that it doesn't much matter where you were arrested, what you were arrested for, what the final disposition was or whether or not you sealed / expunged the record. This is 2015 and we are forehead deep into the internet age, where nothing is private, sacred or truly hidden from public scrutiny.
Sadly, sealing (and expunging) only applies to certain (not even to all) government agencies (for example if fingerprints, mugshots, DNA or anything else - including crime statistics bearing your name or identifying information - were uplaoded to the FBI database then a local Order of Expunction would not effect the Feds) and that it has no effect whatsoever on private (er, extortionist) enterprise, who compile and maintain arrest information and then demand that you pay them off to remove your information from their database and public access. Worse still, after you "buy back your information", then you can count on there being another private company lurking, somewhere, sometime, somehow, just waiting for you to pay them off as well. Its a seemingly never-ending vicious cycle.
For better or for worse you are probably best advised to take the wind out of the sails by admitting your past issues / indiscretions to your present (or potential) employer, lender, landlord, etcetera, rather than waiting for them to find out on their own.
As for fees, on the issue of legal fees, every lawyer charges according to their own business plan. As every case and every client is /are unique, personally I do NOT quote legal fees based simply upon the charges . Rather, fees are quoted only after having reviewed all readily accessible law enforcement reports, meeting and interviewing the client, getting as realistic as possible feel for the facts, circumstances, likely admissible evidence and reasonable probabilities of the case, identifying and agreeing upon a litigation objective and then determining how much time and effort will have to be expended in attempting to reach the client's goal. In this way I can be as fair to both the client and myself as is possible.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)
The practice of law requires vast attention to detail. You have not given all the information that we need here. The best thing to do is to go see a private criminal defense attorney for a full discussion about getting these matters sealed.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
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