Record Sealing and Expunction of Criminal Records

In the State of Florida, certain criminal records can be sealed or expunged if a record exists where the case against you was dismissed, it went to trial and a verdict of not guilty was returned, or if a withholding of adjudication was imposed.

The difference between a criminal record being sealed and expunged is in a sealing it becomes unavailable if requested by most members of the general public. However there are exceptions to this policy for particular groups and organizations that will still be able to request information and gain access to a sealed record.

In a case where you are applying for employment, the following employers will be allowed access to the records: The Departments of Children and Families (DCF), Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and Education (FLDOE); including private or public schools as well as facilities involving child care. The list also includes Agencies for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Florida Health Care Administration (FDHC) any Florida seaport and any criminal justice agency within the state. This will also be the case if you've applied to be licensed by the Florida Bar or if you are an object of an ongoing or future investigation, as well as if you're attempting to purchase a firearm. It will also be accessible to most other government agencies if requested.

When a record is expunged, the above agencies, departments and organizations will no longer have access to the records. However, if a request is made, they will be informed that a record does exist although its details will not be disseminated due to the expunction.

Certain crimes cannot be sealed or expunged unless you were merely arrested for the crime and found not guilty by a jury, or the charges were dismissed by a judge. These crimes include any type of homicide, aggravated assault and battery, sex crimes, trafficking of narcotics, crimes against children and the elderly among other major felonies. To view the full list of crimes that cannot be sealed or expunged *click here and scroll to page four (of six) (*Document made available from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement - FDLE).

It is important to recognize that a sealing or expunction of a criminal record in the State of Florida is a one-time occurrence. If this process has successfully been completed earlier, you are not eligible to have it done a second time. However since July, 2013 if you had a criminal record sealed or expunged in another state you still may be eligible to seek sealing or expunction of a criminal record in Florida.

Some records are ineligible for expungement or sealing even in situations where adjudication was withheld depending on the crime charged.
Two of the foremost reasons for seeking the sealing or expunction of a criminal record usually involve applying for employment or obtaining housing. When filling out an application for either, in the State of Florida, if a prior criminal record has been sealed or expunged, when filling out an application for either you can honestly check the "no" box if questioned if you were ever arrested or charged with a crime.
 
In Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County as well as all other counties located in the State of Florida, the steps and procedures involved for having a criminal record removed from public accessibility, employers and landlords can be very complicated. Call my office for help in this matter by discussing your personal circumstances and finding a speedy solution for application and approval. My personal experience in criminal law can guide and assist you throughout the entire process.

To view my credentials and find out why my law firm is thoroughly qualified to handle sealing or expunction of a criminal record or any other violation requiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, click here.