Can I expunge or seal my record?
Article By Attorney Clementine Conde
Do you qualify for an Expungement?
An arrest record can deny a person employment, housing, volunteer opportunities as well as create a stigma to citizens unfortunate enough to have been arrested. Florida Statute 943.053 makes adult criminal history records public with special provisions for access, unless the records has been sealed or expunged. In order to qualify to have an arrest record expunged your case must have been disposed of in one of the following ways:
- The case was dropped by the state attorney. This means that the state attorney chose to either not file the charges subsequent to an arrest or the state attorney after filing the charge, dismissed the case.
- The case was dismissed after having completed a Diversion Program.
- The case was dismissed by the Court pursuant to a motion to dismiss.
You may be eligible to seal your record
If your case does not qualify for an expungement, you may be eligible to seal your record. Sealed records are desirable because they prevent the arrest record from becoming public record however said records still exist and can be viewed by certain agencies that fall within the exemption. Said agencies include law enforcement and schools.
In order to qualify to seal your arrest record your case must have been disposed of in one of the following ways:
- You must have received a withhold of adjudication.
- You were acquitted after trial.
- Your case must be concluded. (i.e., you are not on probation and all conditions were satisfied)
- You must not have sealed or expunged any arrest record in the past from any state.
- Your case cannot be one of the crimes that the statute prohibits from sealing ( see Florida Statute 907.041)
Whether you are seeking to seal or expunge your arrest records, only one offense(s) that occurred on one date are/is eligible. In other words, you cannot seal/expunge multiple arrests from different dates. One also does not qualify to seal/expunge an arrest record if he/she has any prior adjudications on their record for any criminal offense. This also includes being adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile.
We can help expunge or seal your arrest record
If you feel you qualify to seal/expunge your arrest record, please call us so that we can start the application process with FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).