Seal or Expunge Criminal Records

It is a very good idea to Seal or Expunge Criminal Records in the State of Florida.  However, you must meet certain requirements to do so:

  • To Seal – you must have received a Withhold of Adjudication
  • To Expunge – you must have your case Dismissed, or
  • You must have your record Sealed for ten years
  • And you can only do it once – so if you have more than one crime, in any state, or you’ve sealed another criminal records – you are not eligible.

There are also certain crimes that cannot be sealed or expunged:

  • DUI (you cannot receive a withhold of adjudication if convicted)
  • Domestic Battery (unless the case is dismissed completely)
  • A whole list of crimes set out in Florida Statute 943.059 and 943.0585 (mostly sex crimes or violent crimes)
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Certificate of Eligibility to Expunge Criminal Record

This is why it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney at the beginning of your case.  Pleading to one of these charges can cause long term consequences.  Later applications for jobs or professional licenses could be rejected because of a DUI or Domestic Battery charge.  Finding them is as easy as looking up your name in the local Clerk or Sheriff’s system. The records will stay there permanently unless you have them sealed or expunged.

There are also situations where your application to seal or expunge is rejected, but shouldn’t be.  Your initial application is first reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).  They decide if you qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility based on the Florida Statutes and can reject the application.  For example, even if you were not convicted of Domestic Battery because you pled to the reduced charge of Disorderly Conduct, they could reject the application.

We recently appealed and WON, a denial such as the one above.

We have successfully sealed and expunged hundreds of cases.

If you have been denied a certificate of eligibility from FDLE – call one of our Clearwater or Trinity criminal lawyers today at (727) 372-3111.