Criminal Record FingerprintingCriminal records are public and searchable, often used to screen applicants for jobs, housing, education, benefits, or even volunteering. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions can have long-lasting consequences, so it’s vital to involve a Florida criminal defense attorney in your case as quickly as possible.

Ways to Avoid the Impact of a Criminal Record in Florida

Speed is key to reducing the impact of a criminal charge. While your attorney can mitigate jail time and fines by arguing for a reduced sentence, you will have to plead guilty to take the deal—meaning there will be a conviction in your criminal history.

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances of:

  • Getting the case dismissed. A defense attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped or dismissed by pointing out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case or successfully suppressing evidence obtained illegally.
  • Winning at trial. It’s vital that your attorney knows how to fight for you in the courtroom and is willing and able to go to trial. This includes taking testimony from witnesses and introducing evidence in your favor to refute the prosecution’s claims.
  • Overturning your conviction. Even if you are initially convicted, your attorney may be able to file a successful appeal.

Preventing Conviction Should Be a Defense Attorney's First Priority

If there’s no way to avoid conviction, you could plead guilty to a lesser charge and apply to expunge your record in the future. However, these applications must meet specific criteria, and there’s no guarantee that you will be able to seal or expunge your record—and plenty of damage may be done between the time of your arrest and the time of the expungement. Only a criminal trial lawyer can tell you the best way forward in your case. Call Flaherty and Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 or fill out our contact form to learn more. We offer free consultations and convenient payment plans to our clients.

Contact an Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.


Tim Flaherty
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney