Sealing and Expunging
There is a difference between sealing or expunging your criminal record. When a record is sealed, the public will not have access to it through government databases. This means that most employers will not have access to the information either, however some government agencies may still have access to the criminal record. When a record is expunged, government agencies can still access the criminal record but they will need to obtain a court order to do so.
Even if the charges against you resulted in an acquittal, dismissal, or were dropped, they may still be part of a criminal history record that is public, and some employers may be able to access those records unless the record is sealed or expunged. Both juveniles and adults are eligible to have their record sealed or expunged. Don’t let one mistake follow you the rest of your life, we all deserve a second chance.
Bench Warrant and Alias Capias
A “bench warrant” is a type of warrant issued by a judge in a misdemeanor case when a person misses a required court appearance and the clerk’s office can verify that the person was properly notified (i.e. notice is sent to the address on file). When issued, a set bond amount is usually assessed, which is the amount one must pay to bond out of jail if they are “picked up” on the bench warrant. Alias capias, or AC warrants are similar to bench warrants only they are issued by judges in felony cases.
The scary reality is that, quite often, bench and alias capias warrants are issued and individuals don’t know about them. To check if you have an open FL warrant, visit the FDLE’s website. Then, one day, these people are stopped for a traffic ticket and they are arrested.
1. How do I set aside/vacate/quash a bench or alias capias warrant?
Quashing a bench warrant is fairly easy. To quash a bench warrant you must notify the clerk of courts to have your case placed on calendar in front of the judge who issued it. During the hearing, your attorney must show that the failure to appear in court was not willful. A good lawyer can get the facts and present an articulate argument to the judge to help clients avoid being taken into custody.
2. How do I avoid a bench warrant?
a. Keep your address current with the court.
b. A good attorney will inform you when you have a court date and if your presence is required.
Remember, a bench or alias capias warrant does not go away with time; it will remain active until the matter is taken care of. Meaning, law enforcement can arrest you at home, work, or any other private place as long as the bench warrant or alias capias is open. Anyone can miss a court date for any number of reasons. A good lawyer can get the facts and present an articulate argument to the judge to help clients avoid being taken into custody.