January 5, 2010 - 12:12 PM | by: Orlando Salinas
Finding a job in Florida is hard enough, with a record unemployment rate of 11.5%. The highest its been since 1975. Lawyers say finding a job has become so tough, that a record number of Floridians have had their criminal records sealed or expunged, hoping that removing that part of their past, might make them more attractive to prospective employers.
In 2008, the last year complete records were available, more than 14,000 Floridians successfully had their criminal records sealed or obliterated. That's double the number from the year before, and criminal defense attorneys say that number will go up, as the economy continues faltering.
A kink in the "complete obliteration" process though are data mining companies, who on a daily basis, electronically troll through courthouse records and judgements nationwide. Their business is buying and storing that information indefinately on their massive servers, and later selling that data to anyone who pays a fee.
A frustrating fact for lawyers who successfully have a clients record sealed or expunged from government records, but have no legal authority to force those private companies to expunge their clients data, even if a judge approved the process.