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    A Grand Jury in Camden County has indicted James Henry Brooks Sr. on racketeering charges. Brooks is a City Commissioner for Brunswick, Georgia, which lies 40 miles north of the Florida state line. Among the allegations referred to in the indictment, Brooks received $300 in August 2010 to expunge the criminal record of Marquis Knight, who was hoping to become a police officer. Brooks also took $500 from Joseph Mungin, another candidate for the police department, in order to expunge his criminal record.

    Under Florida law, you can apply to the court to have the record of an arrest expunged immediately, if the arrest:

    -Did not result in an indictment, or any indictment was dismissed by the state attorney, prosecutor or a court -All charges relating to the arrest were dismissed -Did not relate to a specific list of criminal offenses

    The criminal offenses for which an arrest record cannot be expunged relate to:

    -Offenses of a sexual nature, such as sexual battery or computer pornography -Offenses involving minors, such as luring a child into a structure for an unlawful purpose, or buying or selling minors -Offenses by public officers and employees -Fraud -Drug trafficking -Violations of pre-trial detention or release

    Once a court expunges your criminal record, the public will no longer have access to it. Expungement differs from the sealing of a criminal record in that sealed records can be accessed by certain government entities. Those same government entities cannot access expunged records without a court order. With Brooks having expunged their records, Knight and Mungin had a real shot at being accepted by the police.

    For more information on the process of having your record expunged, speak to a Florida criminal defense lawyer.

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