Sam Masters Legal, a Volusia County Expungement Attorney can assist you in the Process of having your Past Criminal Record Expunged or Sealed.

Sam N. Masters, founder of Sam Masters Legal, is experienced in Florida law dealing with Expungement and Sealing of criminal records. Thirty years of experience makes Sam Masters Legal the perfect choice to help clear your name.

Having a criminal history can impact you in many ways and haunt you for years to come. It can cause you to lose your job and/or future job opportunities. It may prevent you from renting an apartment or home and be the sole reason that you are denied admittance to a university.

The Florida Statutes s.943.0585 and s.943.059 establish specific criteria which have to be met in order to have a criminal record sealed or expunged. Anyone who has been arrested and fingerprinted, regardless of the disposition of the case, has a criminal record. In Florida, even if your case was dismissed or you were acquitted; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), by Statue, has to maintain that record in their files. The only way to have that record removed from the public eye is to have it Expunged or Sealed. In addition, anyone who has been booked into the County Jail will have been photographed and that mug shot will begin to appear on multiple websites almost immediately after your arrest. Many websites will voluntarily remove your mug shot upon proof that your record has been sealed or expunged.

Prior to seeking to have your record sealed or expunged you should seek advice from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. You are only entitled to one expungement or sealing in your lifetime; therefore, it is important to fully review and discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding the charge to make sure it is the most effective use of that one lifetime opportunity. In some cases, the expungement or sealing of your record may be of little help to your situation if you are attempting to gain employment or licensing in certain fields.

Under Florida law, once your record has been sealed or expunged, you are allowed to legally deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed or expunged record, EXCEPT when the subject of the record:

  • Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
  • Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
  • Concurrently or subsequently petitions for a sealing or expungement in another matter;
  • Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
  • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, the Agency for Healthcare Administration, the agency for persons with disabilities, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly;
  • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local government entity that licenses child care facilities;
  • Is attempting to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer and is subject to a criminal history check under state or federal law; or
  • Is seeking authorization from a Florida Seaport, identified in Florida Statute 311.09 for employment with in or access to one or more of such seaports pursuant to Florida Statute 311.12.

The First step in the process is to submit an application to the FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility. A Certificate of Eligibility means that, after a thorough review of your criminal history, you are legally eligible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. This review process can take several months.  You are not eligible if you have obtained a previous sealing or expungement in any state or if you have ever been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense in Florida or elsewhere. There are also specific charges under Florida statutes which cannot be sealed. It may, however, be possible under certain circumstances to seal or expunge multiple arrests if they are related to the same criminal episode.

Call Sam Masters Legal at (386) 252-4717 today for a free initial consultation with a Volusia County Expungement Attorney.