Jensen Beach, FL asked in Criminal Law for Florida

Q: Can I legally change/drop my first name while on felony probation with adjudication withheld?

I asked the head P.O. & she said she didnt know.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Blecher
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You will not be able to change your name if you have been convicted of a felony, which you have not. However, any violation of your probation could result in conviction, thus making you ineligible. The name change process requires fingerprinting and background check — legal name change is possible with misdemeanor charges, but a misdemeanor may negatively influence the judge’s decision at your hearing. Florida’s name change form asks whether your civil rights have been suspended and whether you have “ever been arrested for or charged with, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or been found to have committed a criminal offense, regardless of adjudication, and if so, when and where.” This indicates whether you have been convicted of a felony and will determine whether you will be able to change your name.

The language "civil rights suspended" is tricky. While you are on probation you can't own or possess a firearm, which could be construed as a right- though your ability to vote is not restricted.

Read the statute here:

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