Florida – September 20, 2021

Drug trafficking.

Felony charges can often be the result of drug trafficking activities in Fort Lauderdale Florida.  Trafficking is a first-degree felony charge that may include possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, or delivery of controlled, or illegal  substances.  Individuals who are found guilty of drug trafficking in Florida will most likely have a permanent criminal record, unless there are some special agreed upon circumstances between the accused, via their legal counsel, and the State of Florida.  It is imperative to hire the most competent criminal lawyer available when faced with criminal trafficking charges.  Defense counsel can strategize on a plea deal to lessen the charges, so that a criminal record can be sealed or removed (expunged) in the future.

Record sealing.

The sealing of criminal records in Florida is outlined in detail in Florida Statutes 943.059. There are currently 38 offenses that  automatically disqualify a convicted individual from  having a record sealed. If a conviction is not one of those 38 offenses, individuals must first obtain a certificate of eligibility and then petition a Florida court to seal, or expunge a criminal record.  Sealing of records will benefit employment, housing, education, and related day-day purposes. Experienced criminal law attorneys can assist parties who wish to have their records sealed, or expunged.

Expungement scenarios.

  1. Administrative Expungement: erroneous arrest due to false reports, mid-identification, and warrants that have the right name, but the wrong person.
  2. Adult Record Expungement: for criminal records based on eligibility criteria including: no previous sealing, or expunging of a criminal arrest record; no prior guilty adjudication of a felony or misdemeanor; no current court-mandated supervision such as probation, house arrest or community control; and criminal record is not on the excluded list of offenses under Florida Statute 943.0585.
  3. Erroneous or Incorrect Criminal Record Expungement: Florida Department of Law Enforcement makes a mistake and a person with no criminal history shows up in the legal system’s criminal database.

Social platforms.

Even if an individual has been exonerated of a crime, proof of an arrest is part of public domain, where sealing and expungement cannot shield an individual from their criminal record. Social platforms make most records public, including mugshots or arrests. If someone is convicted (adjudicated guilty) for any previous criminal offense (including violations as minor as driving with a suspended license), that individual will not be eligible to have a record sealed, or expunged.  Individuals are only eligible for one petition to seal and expunge a record in an entire lifetime, and they must complete the period of supervision, if applicable ( i.e. probation ) in order for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to grant the Certificate of Eligibility.

Seek competent counsel.

Hiring a competent defense lawyer to assist you with felony charges that are brought against you is a matter of keeping you from going to jail and having a criminal record.  However, if you are not convicted of the drug trafficking charge, it will stay on your record unless you have the record sealed, or expunged.  Each case is unique, and the circumstances need to be reviewed by an attorney specializing in felony drug charges.   The Law Offices of Gabriela C. Novo may be instrumental in developing a successful strategy to keep an individual from retaining a criminal record in the State of Florida.  The laws on expungement and sealing rules are complicated; if you have a criminal history you think is eligible for sealing or expungement contact the law offices of Gabriela C. Novo, P.A.

Gabriela C. Novo, P.A.

200 S.E. 6th Street
Suite 102
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

Cell(954) 822-5198

Fax: (954) 208-0278





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