In the case of Cline v. State of Florida, the issue was whether Mr. Cline could have two different criminal-history records sealed.
The facts in the Cline case are as follows:
In June of 2005, Mr. Cline was arrested for the crime of possession of cocaine. He later pled guilty to that crime and adjudication of guilt was withheld. One year before that, in June 2004, Cline was arrested for the crime of possession of methamphetamine. The State Attorney’s Office agreed to drop the 2004 case on the same day that Cline pled guilty to the 2005 case. Although both cases were resolved at the same time, they involved separate and distinct criminal activity, different arrest dates, different charging documents, and different court files.
In 2008, Cline requested and obtained a court order sealing the criminal-history record in the 2005 cocaine case. Later, he filed another petition with the court asking to have his 2004 criminal-history record sealed. The judge denied that request based on his belief that Florida law permits an individual to get only one criminal-history record sealed. (Under certain circumstances, an individual can get more than one criminal record sealed, but none of those exceptions applied in Cline’s case.)
Mr. Cline appealed the judge’s decision to Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal. That appellate court ruled against Mr. Cline because subsection 2 of Florida statute section 943.059 implies that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement cannot issue someone a certificate of eligibility to get a criminal-history record sealed if that person has obtained a prior sealing for a different case. Because Mr. Cline’s 2005 case had been sealed, the court of appeal ruled that his 2004 case could not be sealed.
If you are interested in getting your criminal record sealed or expunged in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, St. Lucie County, Martin County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, or Miami-Dade County, please call me, attorney Ron Chapman, at 561-832-4348 to discuss your case and see how I might be able to help you.