The Palm Beach Post reports that a judge has agreed to seal the criminal record of a 26-year-old former sheriff's deputy's wife arrested in 2007 after her husband turned over a video of her having sex with a 16-year-old boy.
Originally charged with a serious felony, good work by her criminal defense attorney permitted her to plead guilty to battery on a child and serve 18 months on probation.
Upon the successful completion of her probation, a judge imposed a withhold of adjudication, which allowed her to successfully seal her record.
By sealing her record, the information regarding the felony charges, as well as the reduced misdemeanor charges, will be no longer available to the public.
This woman was allowed to seal her record for a number of reasons. First, she was not convicted. In Florida, you can NEVER seal or expunge a conviction (adjudication). The disposition must be a withhold of adjudication.
Second, the charge was a qualifying offense. Had she pleaded guilty to the felony she would not have been able to seal. She was able to seal because the reduced misdemeanor charge was not a disqualifying offense. A disqualifying offense is a charge that you cannot seal, even if you have received a withhold of adjudication.
Third, the woman had no prior convictions. Any prior convictions, even for criminal traffic matters, will prevent you from having a record sealed.
Remember, sealing is different from expunging a record. You expunge a record where the case has been dismissed or never formally filed. You seal a record where the charge or charges are qualifying offenses, the applicant has no convictions on their record, and the disposition was a withhold of adjudication.
Sealing or expunging permits you to legally deny the arrest. Most people chose to clean their criminal records so that an old arrest record doesn't prevent them from getting a job.
Attorney Eric Matheny handles the sealing and expunging of criminal records in all Florida counties. Call today to discuss your case.