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Sealing Or Expunging A Criminal Record: Information For Teachers And Prospective Teachers

I get a lot of calls from teachers or future teachers with questions about their past criminal records. They want to know if sealing or expunging their criminal record will permit them to legally deny their arrest history to employers or prospective employers.

Unfortunately for teachers, they must disclose sealed or expunged arrest information to their employers. That's because there is a statutory exemption under Florida law that permits educational institutions such as public schools, private schools, charter schools, and even universities, to have access to an employee's sealed or expunged arrest record.

The exemption states that anybody who "is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities" must disclose their sealed or expunged arrest information.

Now this does not mean that a teacher or prospective teacher should not expunge or seal their arrest record. For one, every arrest that is not expunged or sealed is public record. That means that anybody with a computer can find out that you have been arrested in a matter of seconds. They can find out the offense date, the charge, and the outcome. Sealing or expunging prevents students and parents from finding out that a teacher has been arrested.

Also, if you are already a teacher, sealing or expunging a record may prevent your current employer from finding out about the arrest. Now if you are renewing your teaching credential or are applying to a new school, you will have to disclose the arrest. But if you are a current teacher and you are arrested, sealing or expunging your record may prevent your current employer from finding out about it.

I seal and expunge records all throughout the State of Florida. Call today to discuss your case.