Florida Sheriff Gregory Tony has been ordered to turn over sealed juvenile records detailing criminal charges he faced as a teenager in Philadelphia, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Though juvenile records in Pennsylvania are usually sealed, a Florida judge has issued a court order to the Broward Sheriff to obtain and turn over his records.
Tony is currently facing a lawsuit filed by the political opponents who ran against him as Sheriff. They allege that he is unfit and ineligible to serve as Sheriff because of a 1993 murder charge, from which he was later acquitted. Under Florida law, convicted felons cannot hold office. If the lawsuit filed by H. Wayne Clark and Scott Israel successfully proves the felony conviction, they argue that Tony should be removed from office under Florida law, and rival Clarke declared the winner.
Many juvenile offenders find the poisonous stigma surrounding criminal records gravely impacts their future and their freedoms. There are laws in place to protect criminal record holders from blatant discrimination; for instance, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers planning to refuse an applicant on account of their criminal record must provide a legitimate business reason. However, in practice, a criminal record is deeply limiting, and these restrictions can be extremely damaging for our young people and our communities.
PA juvenile records, like those of Gregory Tony, are typically sealed. This means that they are locked away from public record, but as this case proves, they still might ultimately come to bear on an offender's future.
Juvenile criminal record holders might also be able to give themselves a fresh start by having their records expunged. This is not automatic, and to start the process, offenders must file a motion and satisfy the court's various requirements. Not everyone is eligible for expungement and whether your expungement is granted depends on many things. These include the nature of the offense, your personal circumstances, the consequences you may personally suffer as a result of your criminal record, and public safety.
Pennsylvania has some of the country's strictest rules regarding expungement. Thankfully, Clean Slate Bills passed in recent years have made it easier for citizens to clear their records, but sadly this has not gone far enough.
For former offenders, the sealing or expunging of records offers a clean slate. It allows them to rejoin their communities and move on with their future. When a judge has erased your criminal history, there is no need to declare any charges. If Gregory Tony's record had been expunged, for instance, things would likely be very different.
Can you get your criminal record expunged?
If you have been charged with a minor or nonviolent offense, you may be eligible to have your records sealed or expunged. An expert in Pennsylvania law can help get your life back on track. Start the process of clearing or sealing your record in Pennsylvania by contacting the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.