Can an Expungement be Viewed By a Judge?

Interviewer: If you’re accused of a crime, it gets dismissed, you have it expunged, and then you’re accused of another crime and you’re before a judge, will the judge automatically be able to see into your expungement?

Monica: That is one of the limited circumstances where you can’t deny that you’ve had a previous case. In most circumstances, for example, if you’re applying for a job, you can say that you’ve never had any kind of case before. Another circumstance where your prior record can be viewed by the judge is if you’re a criminal defendant in front of the court.

There are limited exceptions. One is what I just said, if you’re a defendant in a criminal prosecution. Another exception would be if you were a candidate for employment for a criminal justice agency. Another time would be if you have asked for expungement or sealment before.

Like I said, you can only apply once in your lifetime. If you’ve asked for it before, then you can’t lawfully deny the one that you had. If you’re trying to get into the Florida bar, or if you’re licensed or want to be licensed by the Department of Children and Families, or the Department of Education, these are situations where you cannot lawfully deny that you have had a previous case. Most of the private sector would never see that you have had a previous case before.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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