The Denson Firm

Cruisin’ For a Bruce-in: Arrest Records

In Cruisin’ For A Bruce-in, we ride along with Florida Attorney Bruce Denson as he gives brief explanations on Florida Law and what to do in common legal situations.


Here's everything you need to know about your record after an arrest.

At the time of this video, it's 2020, and it's a very digital world we live in. It used to be people's arrest records weren't quite so readily accessible and public, but the reality of our modern world is the moment you're arrested, it's entered into a database, and a record company scrapes that information and has it before the case is ever resolved or sealed or expunged. It's going to be a reality that you're going to have to deal with.

So, how do you deal with it?

One: you're going to want the outcome of your case to look as good as possible. If you're worried about how your record looks, which you should be, you want that arrest to look as good as possible. That means either getting the charges dismissed if you can, dropped without being prosecuted might be a possibility by early intervention by an attorney with the prosecutor's office, perhaps dismissal through a pretrial intervention program. The filing of reduced charges makes things look better and a resolution of the case without a conviction, maybe that's a withhold of adjudication, maybe it's paying a fine. There are some options out there that you should explore with an attorney to make that record look as good as possible. Even though sealing and expunging don't have the power that they used to: It's still recommended that you seal or expunge your record.

So let's take the one situation that we've got, make it look as good as possible, put it in the past behind us, start looking forward, and make the next best move.


Further Thoughts

Per Florida Law, police crime and arrest reports are public records subject to public inspection. However, Florida also allows a person to seal or expunge a criminal record if that record meets specific criteria.

What’s the difference between a sealed record and an expungement? The two processes are very similar, but the difference is found in what happens to the existing records.

When a record is expunged, all the records are destroyed and deleted. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will keep a confidential record, but any entity that can access records in the criminal justice system will see that the records have been expunged and will not have access to the records. On the other hand, when a record is sealed, it is no longer available as a public record, but the courts and those within the criminal justice system will still have access to these records.

If you were arrested for but not convicted of a crime, you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged. If you have a record sealed and it remains sealed for at least 10 years, you may then qualify to have that record expunged.

Keep in mind, however, that certain charges can not be sealed or expunged, unless the charges were dropped or dismissed. Some of these crimes include: Murder, Manslaughter, Sexual Battery, Stalking, and Human Trafficking. For a list of all the crimes which cannot be sealed or expunged, please review the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Seal and Expunge Process Reasons for Denial.


If you or a loved one are dealing with a criminal charge, we can help. Contact The Denson Firm immediately for a Free Consultation., we can help. Contact The Denson Firm immediately for a Free Consultation.

Need to know what to do after an arrest? Our Criminal Defense Process is designed specifically to help our client's in their long-term interests and immediate concerns.

Need help with another legal issue? We offer a wide variety of legal services to help those who are in need.

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