In Florida, expungement of criminal records is available only for charges that did not result in a conviction. Florida law also provides for expungement of records in some instances where adjudication was “withheld”, provided it has been sealed for at least 10 years.
In order to be eligible for expungement in Florida, you must not have been convicted of a criminal offense, or pled guilty to any type of criminal offense. Furthermore, you must not have previously obtained an expungement or sealed records. Some types of criminal records are not allowed to be expunged even if the case resulted in a final ruling of “adjudication withheld”. Check with a lawyer for such types of cases.
Prior to petitioning the court for an order to expunge a record, the defendant must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. There is a fee for the certificate in the amount of $75.00. The certificate is usually processed within 30 working days from submission of application.
Successfully obtaining an expunged record means that only four agencies will be able to see the record: The Florida State Bar, the Florida Board of Education, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and Florida Law Enforcement. Please note that the criminal record will appear when these agencies view the record, but will only indicate “record expunged”. Details of the charges will not be disclosed.
Finally, information regarding the expunged record will not be available to any other private or public entities.