How should I go about getting my record cleared and compensated for the problems it has caused in my life?

I was facing life in prison without parole for a crime I didn’t commit. I served about a month before they found out that she was lying and was told my record would be clear. Lately I’ve been denied jobs because it’s still on my record, and in the past I was almost denied for an apartment also. This is causing some serious problems in my life and I want to know how to get it off my record for good and reimbursed for the hardships it has put me through!

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would try to get your record expunged (i.e. erased).  You appear to be a good candidate and it is aweful that you are in this situationb/c someone lied.  I would also file a lawsuit against the girl that lied for abuse of process/malicious prosecution and take all her money and assets and make her work for the rest of her life to pay you off.  I suggest talking to legal aid as they may be able to help you with the expungement or you can hire a lawyer in Hillsborough County, FL to do the civil claim against the girl and also have them file the expurngement papers for you as well.  The application is not complicated.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are a perfect candidate for something called "expungement".  Based on the facts as you have stated them, it should be available to you under Florida law.  Typically it takes about 5-7 months to complete.

The expungement process is essentially four, sometimes five steps:

 

1.

Obtain the State Attorney’s approval on the petitioner’s application for a certificate of eligibility (CoE);

2.

Submit the approved application for a CoE to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE);

3.

Once the FDLE issues the CoE, submit that along with several other court filings to the clerk for the judge to sign;

4.

Have a hearing on the petition to expunge criminal history records (this step is not required in every instance and varies from county to county);

5.

Have the signed order expunging the criminal history record sent to the relevant agencies and government departments who have a record of the criminal record.

This is something that you can do yourself but it involves a lot of paperwork.  If you would be more comfortable, have an attorney handle this.  There are many firms that specialize in this so shop around for the best price.  It shouldn't be too much.

Good luck.


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