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How long do drug charges stay on record?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Drug Charges

Criminal penalties are often the main focus of those worried about a pending charge. They think about jail or the inconvenience of probation and worry about what the effect will be on the rest of their lives.


The criminal record that comes with a guilty plea or conviction can seem secondary to the more immediate and pressing concerns of incarceration, financial penalties and other criminal consequences. It is only after someone goes through court and attempts to move on with their life that they might realize how difficult supporting themselves can be with a criminal conviction.


Drug offenses are a common reason that people get arrested in Florida. They are often victimless crimes that only involve the technical violation of the law because you have something in your possession that is not legal to own. Will your drug conviction eventually come off of your criminal record in Florida?


Criminal convictions don’t fall off your record like financial issues

When you have an account go to collections or go to bankruptcy, the blemish on your credit report will only be there for seven or possibly 10 years. There is a specific amount of time that the credit reporting bureaus can maintain records of those issues. They eventually have an obligation to remove them.


Some people assume the same will be true of a criminal conviction. There are certain scenarios in which a person receives automatic sealing or expungement of their criminal record. Usually, youthful or juvenile offenders are the only ones who qualify for such automatic protections. Anyone else will have a lifelong criminal record that will affect their employment opportunities how about limit with colleges they can go to and even keep them from getting a professional license.


Can you expunge a drug offense after your conviction?

With help, you could secure a court-ordered sealing or expungement. This generally requires that you avoid additional convictions after the offense in question. You have to submit paperwork to the state and attend a court hearing. A judge will determine if you qualify for an expungement or sealing.


If you qualify, you should be aware that you can typically only expunge one offense, as you must attest when requesting the expungement that you have not had one issued by the courts before, except an automatic one.


Determining if you might qualify for an expungement and initiating the process can be difficult. It is possible to feel certain records with help. For many other people facing a drug offense, a criminal defense now could be the best option. That way, they can avoid the conviction that might limit their opportunities for the rest of their lives.