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Record Sealing and Expungement Options Available in Florida

After a criminal history is sealed, the general public will no longer have access to the record. According to Florida law, only certain government agencies will be able to view sealed information. If a court grants for your record to be expunged , it will be physically destroyed by criminal justice agencies, except the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will retain a copy. That copy is kept confidential and can only be viewed by court order. In most cases, it's treated as though the incident never happened.

How to Seal or Expunge Your Florida Criminal Record

After a record has been expunged, any entity that would have access to a sealed record will see only this response when searching for your criminal record: "Criminal History Record Expunged Pursuant to Florida Statutes Having a criminal record can make it difficult to find a new job, apply for an apartment, or obtain a professional license.

Once the record has been expunged or sealed, there's no longer a need to acknowledge the record on any paperwork that's being filed. The rules for having a record sealed or expunged are fairly strict. One may petition to have a criminal record sealed if they were not convicted of a crime or if adjudication of guilt has been withheld. This process can only be done for one crime, and may not be used to dissolve multiple incidents. Criminal records related to any of more serious offenses like arson, homicide, kidnapping, and certain sex offenses can never be sealed.

Expungement is typically only available in cases where no charges were filed, charges were dismissed, or when the criminal record you want to be expunged has already been sealed for ten years. Even if you are ineligible to seal or expunge your criminal record, you still may be able to vacate your conviction through a Rule 3.

In order to expunge your criminal record, your case must have been resolved without a guilty plea, you had no prior criminal history sealed or expunged, and you must have applied for and received a certificate of eligibility to have your record expunged. In order to seal your criminal record, you must have never previously sealed or expunged a criminal record, not entered a plea of guilty or no contest, not be found guilty by the court, never been convicted of any other criminal offense, and must have applied for and received a certificate of eligibility to have your record sealed.

In typical situations, juvenile records are automatically expunged once the offender turns 24 years old. However, there are exceptions, including:.

Sealing & Expunging Criminal Records

Florida Department of Law Enforcement P. Back to top. If you have been charged with a drug offense in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact the attorneys at Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular case. There may be options to seal or expunge your criminal record, and finding an experienced attorney who is familiar with Florida laws is your best option to reach a desirable outcome in your situation.

Contact us at for a free consultation about sealing or expunging your criminal record. Phone Number. Email Address.

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Can You Seal and Expunge Your Criminal Record?

Case Description. Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. Don has achieved over not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2, dismissals. Client Testimonials. They are always there for you with advice and guidance. If you are looking for the best, go with Don!

After reading the above lists, you may wonder exactly what does qualify for an expunction. Any charge which resulted in an acquittal not guilty verdict following a trial or a withholding of adjudication cannot be expunged until it has first been sealed for at least ten years. A charge which was dismissed before trial no information, nolle prosequi, no bill may be eligible for expungement, so long as all charges related to your arrest were so disposed and your record is otherwise eligible.

Residents of Florida are at a distinct disadvantage in the respect that they are only allowed to petition one time to seal or expunge a criminal record. Even in the case of an acquittal by a jury, you may only petition one time to have a criminal record sealed or expunged.

There is one exception to this rule, which is that more than one record may be sealed or expunged in the same court proceeding, if the court, at its discretion, finds the arrests directly related. Records which were deemed ineligible for expunction could become eligible after being sealed for a period of ten years. If, however, you meet all other guidelines, it has been at least a year since your conviction, and you successfully completed all terms of your sentence, then you may be eligible for an expunction. If you qualify for an expunction, you must obtain a certificate of eligibility to petition the court for your expunction or seal.

You must complete section A of the application, signing it before a notary public. You must have fingerprints taken by authorized law enforcement personnel and submit the properly completed fingerprint card with the application. You must provide a certified disposition of the case you are applying to have sealed or expunged, obtained from the Clerk of the Court in the county in which your charges were brought.

Expungement or Sealing Your Record can REMOVE it From Your Background History.

If requesting an expunction of a criminal history record, you must have the state attorney or state prosecutor complete section B of your application. Any missing portion of your application packet will result in your application being returned, unprocessed. You will also complete a declaration in which you will thoroughly detail how the conviction has hurt your career and employment opportunities, how your life has changed, your future plans, education and training received since the conviction, perhaps the reason s you offended, and any step or religious affiliations you have.

Currently, the processing time for a certificate of eligibility application is approximately 90 days from the time the application is received. If you are issued the Certificate of Eligibility, you will then file a petition for relief, along with the Certificate and the required affidavit in the court in the county of your arrest.

If you are approved for expunction or sealing of your records, the FDLE will expunge or seal the criminal history record in question, then will send a notification letter to the agencies involved with your case. The arresting agency is responsible for sending a certified copy of the expunction court order to all agencies known to have received the criminal history information. If you have reason to believe your denial is a mistake, you can ask for a review. If your denial is based on criminal history information which you believe to be inaccurate or incomplete, you must follow the procedure for review and correction to those records, detailed under Florida laws.