Are You One of the Millions of
Americans With a Criminal Record?

A Fresh Start Is Possible

Criminal records are easy to access in Florida, making it harder for someone with a past arrest to get a job, find housing, travel, or build new relationships. However, if you were not convicted of a crime, it is possible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. Experienced expungement lawyers can provide the legal help you need to get a fresh start.

Expungement laws and the process by which to expunge a criminal record varies by state. If you think you may qualify for an expungement in Florida, take our eligibility quiz by clicking on the button below to quickly find out what your options are.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process that hides or eliminates all or some of the details of a criminal case. In Florida, you may qualify for expungement if your case was never filed or was dismissed. You are not eligible for expungement if you were convicted or found guilty of any other crimes of violence or cruelty, in Florida or elsewhere. The need for expungement has grown due to a dramatic increase in the use of criminal background checks.

What is Expungement?
Is there a difference between expungement and sealing?

Yes. A record that has been sealed is no longer available for the public to view without a court order, but is still technically accessible to law enforcement agencies. If your record is expunged, certain government entities that would have access to a sealed record will need a court order to access your criminal record.

Do I Qualify?

The process to clear your criminal record can be tedious and complicated. Our expungement attorneys are here to help you from start to finish if you qualify for a record sealing or expungement. You are eligible to file a petition if:

  • The charges filed against you were dropped, dismissed, or resulted in an acquittal
  • You’ve never been convicted of any other criminal violation in Florida
  • Your record is eligible for court-ordered expungement under Section 943.0584
  • You have no other record sealings or expungements
  • You are not under court supervision for alleged criminal activity

FAQ’s and Resources

In order to have your criminal history sealed or expunged, you must meet the criteria that is outlined in Section 943.0585 of Florida’s Statutes. Then, you must apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a Certificate of Eligibility. When the certificate has been issued, you wile file for a petition of relief in the court that has jurisdiction over the arrest. This is typically the county in which you were arrested.

Florida law allows you to seal or expunge only one case. You can apply to expunge a case that has been sealed for at least ten years and you can expunge a case if you have a previously expunged juvenile case, but multiple cases cannot be expunged.

Usually, a request for expungement is denied if you have been convicted or adjudicated guilty of a felonly or misdemeanor crime, you have a previous sealing or expungement, a pending petition for a sealing or expungement, or some of the charges were not dismissed prior to the trial or adjudication. A judge can also deny a petition to expunge a case due to the nature of the offense.

The process for expunging or sealing a criminal record in Florida takes around six to nine months. Expunging takes longer than sealing because sealing does not require the State’s Attorney to grant approval of the request.

You will have to disclose your sealed or expunged records under certain circumstances, including: if you are applying for a job with a criminal justice agency in Florida; are a defendant in a criminal case; file any additional petitions for sealing or expungement; apply to become a member of the Florida Bar; apply for a position within certain positions that have direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, elderly; or if you are attempting to purchase a gun.