Orlando Sealing & Expungement Lawyers
In many cases, months, years, and even decades after defendants pay their debts to society, criminal convictions continue to affect their everyday lives. Many of these individuals cannot find a good job, obtain student financial aid, find a good place to live, pursue certain career choices, own a firearm, and do other things that most people take for granted. Defendants in these situations have several options. There are ways to reduce, or even eliminate, the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.
In our experience, the first step in effective post-conviction relief proceedings is understanding the defendant’s problem. So, our compassionate Orlando sealing & expungement lawyers make a special effort to understand your plight. That’s usually easy for us to do. Many of the legal professionals at the O’Mara Law Group have been in situations where past conduct affected future events. Understanding is just the beginning. Throughout the expungement or sealing process, we keep the lines of communication open, so you are never in the dark.
The Services We Offer in Orange County
Many people were in the wrong place at the wrong time and are charged with serious crimes. Florida’s expungement and sealing laws are designed to protect people in these situations. So, we offer a full range of services in this area, including:
- Early Discharge from Probation: A Section 948.05 motion is often the precursor to a successful expungement or other proceeding. At any time during probation, if the action “will be for the best interests of justice and the welfare of society, it may discharge the probationer or offender in community control from further supervision.” So, there is a current history of good conduct in the file.
- Expungement: Sometimes, prosecutors file charges and then dismiss them later. Other times, law enforcement officers arrest individuals, but prosecutors never file charges. In both these cases, assuming the defendant has a clean criminal record, a court may expunge (erase) all records of the matter.
- Adult Record Sealing: In some cases, even individuals who pleaded guilty and received probation might be eligible for record sealing. Unlike expungement, if the records are sealed, they are not physically destroyed. However, the general public cannot view these records, and neither can many official agencies.
- Juvenile Record Sealing: Contrary to popular myth, juvenile records are not always sealed when the offender turns 18. In some cases, the offender must request administrative sealing or complete a court-ordered pretrial diversion program.
- Firearm Ownership Rights Restoration: Most all felonies, and even some misdemeanors, may terminate a person’s Second Amendment rights. If the former offender completes an eight-year waiting period and meets some other qualifications, a judge might restore these ownership rights.
At your initial consultation, an O’Mara Law Group attorney will carefully go over your criminal record, ascertain your goals, and then suggest a course of action.
Once the judge signs an order, it’s usually necessary to publish that order to every affected agency. For example, a judge may expunge your criminal record, but the people at the DMV do not know about this directive until you tell them about it.
Contact Savvy Attorneys
Sealing and expungement proceedings let former offenders truly put their pasts behind them. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Orlando, contact the O’Mara Law Group. Convenient payment plans are available.