Expungements for Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been charged with or convicted of domestic violence in Tampa, you may be ready to put that part of your life behind you and move forward. Depending on your case, you could qualify for expungement. Expungement seals your criminal record and hides your domestic violence charges from state or federal public databases.
Expungement is not automatic; criminal charges and convictions remain on your record in Florida unless you actively seek an expungement or record sealing.
Domestic violence charges are considered to be a “dangerous crime.” The rules for qualifying offenders seeking expungement of domestic violence charges are strict.
Here’s how to apply for expungement for domestic charges in Tampa.
When Can a Domestic Violence Charge Be Expunged?
You can seek expungement for domestic violence charges if:
- No official domestic violence charges were filed
- The state dropped the charges
- The court dismissed the charges
- The court returned not guilty verdict
You cannot seek expungement if you accept a plea agreement to a domestic violence charge and are awarded a withhold of adjudication.
How to Clear Your Record of a Domestic Violence Charge
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement offers a Certificate of Eligibility to qualifying individuals who want their records sealed. Your attorney will obtain a copy of your COE and include it with your petition to have your record sealed.
Can Multiple Expungements Be Granted?
You can only seek one expungement of your criminal record. The courts will not grant another expungement.
How an Attorney Can Help
Clearing your name and record of domestic violence charges in Florida is easier with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney ensures that your petition is accurate, complete, and includes all necessary documentation to streamline the process.
Domestic Violence Charges & Expungement in Florida
You may not have to worry about future expungement of domestic violence charges if you have a strong defense during your trial. In some cases, your criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the state’s prosecuting attorney.
A domestic violence attorney in Tampa could help you avoid domestic violence charges through:
- Pretrial diversion program that could include drug or alcohol rehabilitation, community service, and anger management
- Charged with a lesser crime not related to domestic violence
The state agrees to drop the charges against you after you complete the pretrial diversion program. You can then petition to have the case expunged from your record.
If you are charged with a different crime, you accept a withhold of adjudication and then file a petition for expunge.
Get Help From a Florida Expungement Lawyer
An experienced Florida expungement lawyer helps you clear your record so that you can go forward in life. Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.