Seriousness of drug trafficking.

Drug trafficking is a serious drug offense in Fort Lauderdale Florida, often resulting in felony charges.  Trafficking is a first-degree felony charge and includes the possession, sale, purchase, manufacture or delivery of controlled or illegal  substances.  As a means of addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, a recent Florida law went into effect imposing some of the tightest opioid prescription restrictions in the country. If you are found guilty of drug trafficking in Florida, it will most likely stay on your permanent criminal record unless there are some special agreed upon circumstances between you, through legal counsel, and the State of Florida.  If you are charged with drug trafficking, it is imperative that you hire the most competent lawyer to assist you because you will need to have some type of strategy to get a plea deal to lessen your charges so that you can have a criminal record sealed or removed (expunged) in the future.  If you have been charged, you must understand that if your charges are among the 38 that are not sealable or expungable, your attorney will have to win the case or make a deal to charge you with a less weighted offense.

Social platforms keep record.

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

Sealing of records.

The sealing of criminal records in Florida is described in Florida Statutes 943.059. There are currently 38 offenses that, if convicted, automatically disqualify you from having your record sealed, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. If your conviction is not one of those 38 offenses, you must first obtain a certificate of eligibility and then you may petition a Florida court to seal or expunge your criminal record.

Other scenarios where you might have your record expunged.

  1. Administrative Expungement: based on an 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: when Florida Department of Law Enforcement makes a mistake and a person with no criminal history shows up in the legal system with a criminal record.

Seek qualified legal counsel.

Hiring a competent lawyer to assist you with the charges that are brought against you is a matter of keeping you from going to jail and having a criminal record.  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 these types of charges.  The law offices of Gabriela C. Novo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, may help with a successful strategy that may keep you from having a criminal record at all in the State of Florida.

Gabriela C. Nova, Attorney at Law

200 S.E. 6th Street, Suite 102

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301