After an arrest it is important to preserve your right to seal or expunge your criminal record. The internet has brought a new level of transparency to all levels of our life. This level of transparency can cause a lot of problems when friends, family and potential employers can find a mug shot simply by looking on the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HSCO) website.
Even more problematic, some private data mining companies are creating profiles based on these mug shots which are optimized for the individuals name. In other words, if you have an fairly unusual name and enter it in Google's search engines, the first listing will be a website that has your mug shot and arrest information displayed.
Everyday I sit in court and watch individuals waive their right to an attorney and enter a plea to some misdemeanor offense. I wonder how many of them realize that an adjudication to that offense means they will never be able to seal or expunge any criminal record for the rest of their life.
Learn more about the seal and expunge process. You can only seal or expunge one record in your lifetime. If you have a series of arrest records related to one type of incident you should contact an attorney. Even separate case numbers can be combined in the petition to seal or expunge a record if you can show it was all one related "incident."
Read more about how we help people seal or expunge a criminal record in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL, and the surrounding areas. Watch an informative video on the topic created by the Hillsborough County Clerk's Office:
How Long it Takes to Expunge or Seal a Criminal Record - Learn more about why it takes an average of 6 to 10 months to expunge or seal a criminal record history in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL. Also find out why you might need a lawyer to help you expunge or seal the record instead of trying to do it yourself to save money.
Read more about Senate Bill 1334 recently sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and the house counterpart, House Bill 917, sponsored by Rep. Ari Porth (D-Coral Springs, Florida). The bills seek to abolish all minimum mandatory requirements but would leave the current fines in place which range from $25,000 to $500,000. The proposed legislation requires substance abuse treatment and allows for reentry programs for certain non-violent drug offenders.
The current system is particularly unjust for individuals with substance abuse problems who are in possession of prescription medication (without a valid prescription). Even one bottle of pills can trigger the minimum mandatory sentences. In many of these cases, the possession may have been intended only for personal use, although those individual are now automatically deemed to be "drug traffickers" under the current statutory scheme. The legislation applies not only to prescription medication, but also to common street drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
Under the proposed legislation judges would have more control to fashion reasonable sentences depending on the particular facts of the case instead of warehousing non-violent offenders for decades in Florida's Prison System. Creating more reasonable sentences will also save the tax payers millions of dollars and allow those resources to be put to better use in fighting substance abuse issues.
Read more from Families Against Mandatory Minimums on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 12:25pm
Twin bills filed in the Florida Legislature this week propose doing away with mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking in controlled substances, which currently range anywhere from three to 25 years depending on the weight of the substance.Read a recent article about this proposed legislation: http://slee.blogs.ocala.com/10800/mandatory-minimums-focus-of-new-bills/?tc=ar