A Clean Slate: Florida’s Expungement Options

If you have been arrested or charged and convicted, there may be an opportunity to expunge your record in Florida. Expungement differs from records sealing, though the two offer some similarities.

If you successfully expunge your record for a criminal arrest you in effect no longer have a criminal record. A copy is kept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but not even a court order can unseal it. A sealed record, though not visible in public records, can be found with a court order in most cases.

Here are some details about expunging a criminal record in Florida:

  • You only get to do this ONCE in your lifetime, so choose very carefully if you have multiple arrest records.
  • You cannot expunge a criminal record which resulted in a guilty verdict. Similarly, you cannot expunge court records unless you were found not guilty.
  • You cannot seal or expunge records for serious felonies including homicide, manslaughter, aggravated assault and battery, most sex crimes, robbery, burglary of a residence, and some others.

Why should you consider a records expungement? In effect the criminal record no longer exists, so you are not required to notify a prospective employer that you had a criminal record. The only exception is if you apply to serve in law enforcement, in which case you must reveal the record even if it is sealed or expunged.

If you feel you have a criminal record which is keeping you from integrating into society or getting a job you need, contact Adam Dunn and the Dunn Law Firm at 941-866-4352. We can discuss the particulars of your criminal past and help make a determination whether expungement or sealing is a viable option for you.

Florida Expungement Options | Law Firm Sarasota, FL

A Criminal Conviction Can Impact Your Career

If you are facing criminal charges you might feel the most important considerations are for your upcoming case. You may also be tempted to plead to lesser charges to avoid missing time from work if you are employed. There are unfortunately some long-term consequences to consider if you believe missing time from your job is the most important issue.

You could lose your job — A conviction on a felony charge or even some misdemeanors could result in termination from your current job. Many companies and industries will not hire or retain people with criminal records. Many companies have clauses written in their employee contracts that permit them to terminate employees if they are convicted while working for those companies. Pleading guilty to lesser charges may not eliminate the risk of losing your job, especially if your company still believes you are guilty of the more serious original charges.

If you think not telling your current employer is the best option, this could also result in your termination. Failure to notify them of a conviction can be cause for termination, and some employers run background checks on their employees as part of their annual employee reviews. Your conviction could also be reported by another employee or the company could read about it in a local newspaper.

If affects your future employment — A criminal conviction will follow you around well into the future. Many companies will not hire anyone with a criminal record. Moving to another state to avoid a criminal record rarely works in today’s world of digital record keeping. The consequences of a criminal conviction can impact you for years to come.

The Dunn Law Firm in Sarasota is dedicated to your criminal defense. We promise to provide you aggressive and thorough criminal defense from minor to serious criminal charges. We can help you get charges reduced or dropped, and can assist with the process of sealing or expunging your criminal records if you are eligible, making it easier to get jobs in the future. Contact the Dunn Law Firm today at 941-866-4352 any time of day or night.

Criminal Attorney Sarasota FL

Follow These Steps and Call the Dunn Law Firm for Your Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, there is a series of steps to follow in your defense case. Following these steps can help you prepare for your case and educate yourself with information related to the decisions you may have to make. Learn about the criminal defense steps by reading on.

The first step in a criminal case is the arrest or the notices, followed by the booking. If you do not respond to notices, you can be arrested and booked. Then, the first court appearance takes place with 72 hours of arrest. If you do not get bailed out during your first day in jail, you will have a first appearance in court. This appearance, also called the advisory, is where a judge can set your bond amount and advise you on the charges you are facing.

 

Following the advisory is the arraignment. The arraignment takes place 30 to 60 days after the first court appearance. During the arraignment, a plea is given. The three plea options are not guilty, guilty, and no contest. After a plea, formal charges can go into effect between one and 90 days after the arraignment. A discovery then happens within 30 days, followed by the potential of an early resolution or pretrial intervention. A motion to suppress can also happen before pretrial.

Following the pretrial, individuals can go through a hearing, a plea deal, depositions, a trial, and the sentencing. During these steps, you may want to work with a lawyer from the Dunn Law Firm. Contact us to work with an attorney who is dedicated to helping you defend your case. Our team at Adam Dunn Law is professional, skilled, and available to take your case. To talk to an attorney now, call us at 941-866-4352.

Can a Minor Be Charged with a Felony?

When a minor is arrested, parents and guardians are understandably concerned about what the future holds for them. Is the trial process the same one that adults go through, or are children and adolescents subject to different rules and regulations? The answer is that circumstances and specific charges are important here, but felony charges are a possibility when minors commit serious crimes.

 

JUVENILE JUSTICE

Many minors find themselves in juvenile court when they break the law. This court system focuses on rehabilitation so that the minors in question can grow up and avoid legal issues. This differs from adult courts, where the focus is more on punishment and protecting the public from violent or dangerous criminals. With that said, there are a few crimes that could land a minor in the adult legal system and result in felony charges under certain circumstances. These include:

  • Sexual Battery
  • Murder
  • Carjacking
  • Strong-Armed or Armed Robbery
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Burglary
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Home-Invasion Robbery

ADULT COURT

If the minor in question has committed one of the above crimes and meets a few other requirements, they could be tried in adult court. This means that they will be subject to the same laws designed to punish criminals and protect the general public that adults face. This isn’t the most common experience that most minors have, however it is a very real possibility nonetheless. And if the minor is convicted, they could face an extended prison or jail sentence.

SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL

The most important thing you can do for a loved one that is facing potential felony charges is to invest in an experienced attorney. This is especially true when the person in question is a minor that could potentially have the entire trajectory of their lives changed. Reach out to the Dunn Law Firm today at 941-866-4352 or visit our office at 3100 Southgate Circle, Suite A, in Sarasota.

What You Should Know about DUI and Implied Consent

Florida is among several states that have passed “implied consent” laws. Implied consent laws relate to arrests for driving under the influence, also known as DUIs. To learn what you need to know about DUIs and implied consent, just continue reading this blog post.

 

A police officer can pull over drivers who appear to be under the influence. When an officer pulls over a driver, they have the right to request the driver take tests to prove if they are in fact under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are lawfully arrested, you have given your implied consent to take a blood, breath, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC.

With the implied consent law, officers also have the ability to request multiple tests from one driver. For example, an officer can ask a potentially impaired driver for a blood test and a breath test at the time of the traffic stop.

If a driver refuses to take any of these tests, there are immediate consequences. An officer should make a driver aware of these consequences at the time of the traffic stop. When refusing a test, an individual can have their license suspended, the refusal of the test can be used against them in court, and a subsequent refusal can count as a misdemeanor.

The first time an individual is pulled over and refuses these tests, they receive a one year license suspension. A second-time offense results in an 18-month license suspension and additional consequences are possible, such as misdemeanor charges and jail time.

Even though individuals have the right to refuse a test, they can still face jail time. Additionally, just because a person refuses their test doesn’t mean they won’t be charged for a DUI. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI, contact Adam Dunn Law. Speak with an attorney now when you call us at 941-866-4352.

Implited Consent and DUI in Sarasota, FL