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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Tampa Expungement Lawyer

A criminal record can haunt you for life, even if you were not found guilty of a crime. Unfortunately, countless people suffer the consequences of being arrested and charged with an offense for which they were ultimately not convicted. A criminal record is public knowledge, meaning that employers, banks, and landlords can all run a quick background check and see your criminal record within hours. As such, having a criminal record such as this can make the difference between getting the job of your dreams and not being able to secure employment at all. It can make the difference between securing a mortgage of your own, and being passed up by a landlord as a tenant. Everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance. Furthermore, anyone not found guilty certainly deserves a clean slate. The Tampa expungement lawyer at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. can help make this happen.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the legal act of destroying one’s criminal record so that it is no longer part of the public record. Expungement offers those who have not been formally convicted of a crime the chance to have their records erased from public view.

Expungement Vs. Sealing

When a criminal record is expunged, it is physically destroyed. As such, there is no evidence of the criminal record having ever existed. Record sealing, on the other hand, hides a person’s criminal record from public view. While you can still legally deny having a criminal record if it is sealed (in most cases), the record is still accessible by various law enforcement agencies. There are instances in which you would have to admit to your criminal record, whether sealed or expunged, however. Examples include, though are not limited to, purchasing a firearm, seeking employment with law enforcement, and seeking employment with the Department of Education or the Department of Children and Family Services.

Who Qualifies for Expungement?

The eligibility requirements for having your record expunged are quite narrow. They include the following

  • You were arrested in Florida
  • You were not convicted of the offense (pleading guilty does not count as a conviction)
  • You have no open or pending criminal cases
  • You completed all terms of any probation
  • You paid all fines and restitution
  • You have no previous records expunged or sealed

Furthermore, only certain criminal offenses can be expunged from one’s record. Generally, only misdemeanor offenses can be expunged. Traffic offenses, such as a DUI or reckless driving causing bodily injury, also cannot be expunged, even if they are misdemeanor offenses.

Call a Tampa Expungement Lawyer Today

Expungement, and record sealing, is a complex process that involves the application being signed and dated in front of a notary public/deputy clerk, a written certified statement, a certified disposition, documentation proving that all terms of probation and fines/court fees have been met, and more. A Tampa expungement lawyer will assist you with these documents, and represent you in the expungement hearing in court. You greatly improve your chances of a successful expungement by working with an attorney. Call The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. at 813-217-5715 to schedule a free consultation.

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