One of the biggest fears people have about having a criminal arrest record is that it is open to the public’s view.
From there, the immediate consequences that stem from having an arrested record made public are dire.
For example, a single arrest record can affect a person’s employment stability.
Whenever employers find out that their employees were arrested, the first though that usually
comes to their mind is whether they should fire that person. Because if you were to think about it
from the business owner’s point of view, having an employee that was arrested is not good for
business but a liability.
But that’s not all. In fact, many people also miss out on either being seriously considered for
an employment position or for receiving a promotion that they were working so hard to get. And all of this,
simply because they were arrested. Thus, one thing is for sure, none of this is good.
And that is where Florida’s expungement and sealing relief comes into play.
Having a criminal record expunged or sealed results in the same legal consequence.
In other words, that the criminal records become legally protected as a “confidential” record
and hence, no longer subject to public records’ laws.
In turn, what this means is that neither the government nor the public will have access to the
record of that arrest unless they petition a court and the court signs an order granting access. (An
Nevertheless, the Florida Legislature vis a vis the Florida Statutes for expungements and sealings
carved out certain exceptions where people must voluntarily disclose (i.e., be forthcoming and
tell the truth!) about criminal records which have been previously expunged or sealed.
Why, you might ask? Because of the sensitive nature of the employment positions that this
applies to. For instance, if you were looking to work for the Department of Children and
Families, the Florida Legislature determined that it is in the public’s interest to have individuals
applying for a job that deals with Florida’s children and family matters, to have an absolute truth
involving a person’s criminal background; versus a limited legal truth, which is what
expungements and sealings otherwise afford.
A second example that involves such an exception which requires a full and truthful disclosure
of any previous criminal arrest even if previously expunged or sealed, is The Florida Bar; which
is Florida’s designated association that is in charge of regulating and disciplining all Florida
licensed attorneys. Thus, again, here, the Florida Legislature determined that it is in the public’s
interest to make sure that any applicant for admission into The Florida Bar must be absolutely
forthcoming with regards to their previous criminal history.
Additionally, we welcome you to stay tuned to our Erase The Case Blog section where we will
continue to examine and explain with more detail the positive benefits, neutral facts, and
negative consequences involving criminal history record expungements and sealings.
If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free legal
The remaining list of exceptions to the expungement and sealing benefit can be found in the
following page from our FAQ’s section: