Expunging a Conviction in Florida

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Can I Get an Arrest Removed from My Record in Florida?

In Florida, expungement of criminal records is available only for charges that did not result in a conviction. It also provides for expungement of records in some instances where adjudication was "withheld," provided it has been sealed for at least 10 years.

Eligibility for Expungement

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. Further, you must not have previously obtained an expungement or sealed records. Even so, some types of criminal records cannot be expunged even if the case resulted in a final ruling of "adjudication withheld." The best approach is to check with a criminal lawyer for such types of cases.

Petitioning for an Order

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 $75 fee to obtain the certificate. The certificate is usually processed within 30 working days from submission of application.

What Happens after Expungement?

Successfully obtaining an expunged record means that only four agencies will be able to see the record:

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 relating to the expunged record will not be available to any other private or public entities.

Consulting an Attorney

Seeking an expungement with an experienced Florida lawyer is sometimes the most effective way to cleaning up your record for employment purposes. A lawyer will know how to approach the expungement and can argue to the courts on your behalf.

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Last Modified: 03-04-2014 11:12 AM PST

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