Expungement attorneys encounter clients that wish to seal/expunge a record all the time. While Florida Statutes have created a very manageable process for sealing/expunging a record, some applicant simply do not qualify. As an expungement lawyer, I encounter clients in this situation all the time.
In some instances, a person cannot seal/expunge their record because they were convicted. In other cases, the offense that they wish to seal/expunge is one that Florida law does not allow to be sealed or expunged, such as sexual battery, DUI,domestic violence, lewd or lascivious battery, sexual activity with a child, enticement, manufacturing cocaine, and other like offenses.
Since the petition to seal or expunge must be made under oath, it is extremely important
for a person to be as honest as possible with their expungement lawyer.
Knowingly providing false information on a petition to seal or expunge is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. In a sense, knowingly providing a false statement on a petition for expunction is no different than perjury, since the statements being provided are done under oath.
Filing a petition to seal/expunge that knowingly contains a false claim will not only result in the petition being denied, but can also result in criminal prosecution. Moreover, a person who is caught lying to a judge about their background can rest assured that any future petitions to seal/expunge will also be denied.
For these reasons, it pays to be as candid as possible with your expungement lawyer from the start.
However, if a piece of false information is unintentionally provided, there is no harm or foul. The law does not expect people to be perfect, but it does expect them to be honest. Given the huge volume of cases that go through the courthouse on a daily basis, criminal judges are very good at telling the difference between a petition that contains an error and one that contains a lie.
As an expungement lawyer, I can tell you that most people are interested in doing the right thing. If you are the kind of person who cares to have a clean record, odds are you are not the kind of person who will file a fraudulent claim with a judge.
The ultimate lesson to be learned from this rule is to simply be as honest as possible with your expungement attorney and the courts throughout the process used to seal/expunge your record.