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Is there a way to get a youth drug charge expunged in Florida?

Everyone makes mistakes in their youth. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes can have consequences that will follow the youth for the rest of their life. A drug-related conviction will severely limit the person’s educational opportunities, scholarship eligibility, employment opportunities and more. Is there a way to get the evidence of such a charge removed from the youth’s permanent record, so that they can have a fresh start in life?

Expungements of criminal history records

The Florida legislature established a process whereby a person can petition the court for an expungement of their criminal record. If you meet certain requirements, and if the court feels that it is just to do so under the circumstances, they could order evidence of your criminal conviction to be hidden.

If you receive an expungement, then any employers, universities or other private individuals will not see any evidence of your conviction if they search. Evidence of your conviction may still be visible to certain law enforcement and governmental agencies.

How to qualify for an expungement of a drug-related conviction

The first requirement for expungement is that your crime not be on a list of crimes that are ineligible for expungement. These crimes are mostly violent and sexual crimes. The possession or use of drugs is not on this list – unless you were in possession of 25 pounds or more of cannabis.

If your offense qualifies, then you will have to apply for a certificate of eligibility for expunction. Your attorney can help you with this process. After you receive it, your attorney can petition the court for an expungement. The whole process can take 12 weeks or more.

If you have completed a juvenile diversion program for a misdemeanor offense, you can qualify for a somewhat simpler process for expungement.

It’s a shame when a mistake a youth makes closes doors for them. If you are able to go through the proper process to obtain an expungement, it can make all the difference in the world for your future.