As we've discussed before here on our blog, Sarasota County residents arrested and charged with a crime will be dealing with the consequences for what may prove to be a long time. This is true even if the charges are eventually dismissed. An arrest stays on your record and will show up whenever a prospective employer, school, government agency, lender or other similar institution runs a background check on you.
When they do find out you've been arrested before, will they ask for your side of the story? Will they consider whether the charges were dropped, or try to understand the incident in the context of your life at that time? Perhaps some may. However, with an experienced criminal law professional like D. Scott Reith on your side, you may be able to pursue courses of action that may prevent this uncomfortable and potentially damaging scenario from arising in the first place.
Say you plead no contest to a charge or even entered a guilty plea, a Florida court gave you a withhold of adjudication, and you have not had a criminal conviction since then. We can seek to have your criminal record sealed, which will keep it out of the public domain; the legal system cannot even acknowledge its existence except in a few specific situations. On the other hand, if you were found not guilty and the charges were dismissed, we may be able to pursue an expungement, which means your criminal record is actually destroyed, barring just one confidential copy that Florida law enforcement may not disclose publicly for any reason.
Both record sealing and expungement requests may be denied initially by a court. The law firm of D. Scott Reith can fight back for our clients' eligibility with legal strategies based on more than 20 years of experience. We welcome inquiries from Sarasota County residents interested in safeguarding their futures when a criminal record is involved.