Sealing DUI Records
When a person has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, he or she can understandably be focused on much more immediate consequences like possible incarceration that could disrupt his or her life. However, DUI arrests can haunt alleged offenders long after their court cases have been resolved.
Convictions for drunk driving can have employment and educational consequences. Anybody who has been arrested for DUI in Florida should keep these additional effects in mind before entering a final plea.
Melbourne DUI Record Sealing Lawyer
If you were recently arrested for drunk driving in Central Florida, make sure that you have experienced legal representation for assistance in obtaining the most favorable outcome to your case. The Law Offices of James B. Coulter will fight to achieve a resolution that will allow for you to seal or expunge you DUI arrest from your criminal record.
Our Brevard County DUI record expungement attorney represents residents throughout the greater Melbourne area as well as tourists who were arrested while on vacation. We will review your case as soon as you call (321) 586-9944 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Florida Sealing DUI Records Information Center
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Difference Between Expunging and Sealing DUI Records in Brevard County
Expunging or sealing a criminal record will prevent the public from having access from viewing that history. However, the difference between these two types of processes is that certain governmental or other agencies can have access to sealed records. If the record is expunged, then access can only be granted with a court order.
Under Florida Statute § 943.059(4)(a), a person who has his or her criminal history record sealed can lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed record, except when he or she is seeking to be employed by, licensed by, or contract with any of the following:
- A charter school;
- A district school board;
- A local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities;
- A private or parochial school;
- A university laboratory school;
- The Agency for Health Care Administration;
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities;
- The Department of Children and Families;
- The Department of Education;
- The Department of Elderly Affairs;
- The Department of Health;
- 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;
- The Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services within the Department of Financial Services; or
- The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education.
A person who has his or her criminal history record sealed also cannot deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed record if he or she:
- Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief under Florida Statute § 943.059 (Court-ordered sealing of criminal history records), Florida Statute § 943.0583 (Human trafficking victim expunction), or Florida Statute § 943.0585 (Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records);
- Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar or employment with a criminal justice agency;
- Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
- 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;
- Is seeking to be appointed as a guardian; or
- Is seeking to be licensed by the Bureau of License Issuance of the Division of Licensing within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm.
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Ways to Seal DUI Records in Florida
People who have been convicted of DUI in Florida cannot have their records sealed or expunged. This makes it critical to work with a knowledgeable lawyer who will work tirelessly to achieve an outcome that allows you to possibly benefit from expunging or sealing your record later on.
Some of the alternative case resolutions that will allow an alleged DUI offender to still seal or expunge his or her record include:
- Receive Withhold of Adjudication — Under Florida Statute § 948.01(2), a judge in Florida is allowed to withhold the adjudication of guilt when it appears to the court that the alleged offender “is not likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct and that the ends of justice and the welfare of society do not require that the defendant presently suffers the penalty imposed by law.” However, Florida law prohibits adjudication from being withheld in DUI cases. This means that in order for an alleged offender charged with drunk driving to receive a withhold of adjudication, his or her attorney will likely have to negotiate a reduction in charges to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving.
- Receive Acquittal — If a judge or jury finds the alleged offender not guilty, then he or she will be eligible to have the record of his or her arrest expunged or sealed. This also applies if the criminal charges are dismissed because of an issue such as lack of evidence or illegally obtained evidence.
- Complete Pretrial Diversion (PTD) Program — Brevard County has a PTD program for select misdemeanor DUI offenders. If an alleged offender is accepted into the program and successfully completes it, then he or she will have the DUI charges dropped and can have his or her record sealed or expunged.
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Brevard County Process for Expunging or Sealing DUI Record
There are very specific requirements that must be met within set time limits in order to seal or expunge a criminal record in Florida. The entire process can take anywhere between six months and one year, depending on specifics of the case.
Generally, a person who is seeking to expunge or seal his DUI record will need to do the following:
- Complete, sign, and notarize a Certificate of Eligibility.
- Obtain legible set of fingerprints recorded by a law enforcement agency on an applicant card and certified copy of the disposition of the case to be sealed or expunged.
- If seeking to have record expunged, have Section B of application completed and signed by State Attorney’s Office or statewide prosecutor.
- Submit all items listed above and check or money order to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for processing.
- After FDLE issues Certificate of Eligibility, submit petition for court review.
Following these steps, the person seeking to have his or her record sealed or expunged may or may not be required to attend a hearing on the petition. After this, he or she will await approval from the court and the issuance of an order that expunges or seals the record.
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Find A DUI Record Sealing Lawyer in Melbourne
Are you hoping to seal or expunge the criminal record of your DUI arrest? You will want to make sure that you have skilled legal counsel.
The Law Offices of James B. Coulter aggressively defends clients living in Melbourne Florida and throughout entire state Florida as well as visitors who were arrested in Florida. Call (321) 586-9944 right now to let our Brevard County DUI expungement attorney review your case during a free consultation.