Starting the process to seal or expunge your Florida criminal arrest record is more important than ever now that many law enforcement agencies are making it even easier for the general public to perform online searches for old arrest records. For instance, before March of 2009, the website for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office published arrest information, including mug shots or booking photos, arrest charges, bond details, and other booking information for individuals arrested over only the past five years.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office recently changed this policy and now publishes electronic arrest information and mug shots for all individuals arrested since January 1, 1995. Records from the clerk of court go back even further.
Other private companies now have ability to download these online records into massive databases. Law enforcement agencies in Polk County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hernando County, Manatee County, and Sarasota County are also in the process of making this information more readily available online. Now more than ever, it is important to seal or expunge your criminal record to protect your good name, and rid yourself of the consequences of an old arrest.
Most importantly, the legislature is continuing to change the law which almost always results in certain types of cases being ineligible for the seal or expunge process. The laws regarding your right to seal or expunge a criminal record could change tomorrow.
To talk to us about having you record sealed or expunged call us at (727) 344-5511 in Pinellas County or (813) 221-4400 in Hillsborough County for a free consultation, our phones are answered 24 hours a day.