People who have an arrest or criminal charge for theft will then have a criminal record, even if they do not receive a conviction. As a result, when employers, landlords and others run a background check, they will discover the record, which could result in lost opportunities.
According to Florida statutes, the court may order the expunction or sealing of records so that they are not visible to anyone other than the legal system.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement explains that the only cases that are eligible are those which the courts dismiss, and those in which there was no filing of other indictments, information or charging documents. The application can only list one charge unless the charges fall under the exclusion for related offenses. All probation and community service orders must be complete before a person can be eligible.
Violent crimes, sexual crimes, drug trafficking and manufacturing and acts of terrorism are a few of the ineligible offenses, as well as some traffic offenses, such as DUI, reckless driving and in some cases, driving with a suspended, revoked or canceled license.
Specifically related to theft, carjacking, burglary of a residence and home invasion robbery are not eligible.
Reasons for denial
People may receive a denial for their application if the criminal record indicates that a judge has ruled them guilty of any criminal offense. A guilty plea or no contest plea for an offense will also result in denial.
Sealing or expunction of other records in Florida or other pending applications for sealing or expunction of other records will affect eligibility, as well.