Our South Florida criminal defense lawyers recently read a Wall Street Journal article that discusses the impact of criminal records on job seekers. Because of increased competition for jobs and the relative ease with which employers can conduct background searches, more and more job applicants are looking for ways to legally clear up their criminal records so they can compete for job openings. According to the article, 80% of companies performed background checks in 2006, while less than half performed background checks just eight years earlier.
Here in Florida, the state has sealed or expunged close to 15,000 criminal records in the fiscal year that ended June 30, an increase of 43% over the previous year. The laws vary by state, but generally felonies like armed robbery or sexual assault cannot removed from one’s criminal record, while lesser crimes like shoplifting, petit theft or possessing a small amount of marijuana can be sealed or expunged depending on the details of the case.
When a criminal record is sealed, it means that the public does not have access to it, but certain governmental or law enforcement agencies may view the information. Expunging a record means that the details cannot be accessed without a court order, but those entities would be informed the person’s criminal information has been expunged from their record.
Source: More Job Seekers Scramble To Erase Their Criminal Past, Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2009
If you need your criminal record sealed or expunged, then please contact on of our Broward County Criminal Record seal and Expunge Lawyers for more information.