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Get Your Record Expunged and Seal Your Record in Florida



If you have ever been arrested for a crime in Florida, you have a criminal record. This means, even if the charges were dropped or not filed by the State Attorney, you still have a criminal background. With the ease and popularity of browsing the internet, your court docket and arrest may be viewed by anyone with internet access. Hiring an attorney experienced with criminal records law is instrumental in assisting you to conceal this record from co-workers, employers, your neighbors and your children’s classmates. A criminal background can follow you forever and can have serious consequences on your future. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. Under Florida law, you may be able to have your record sealed or expunged. So hire a Tampa Expunctions Lawyer to help you.

LET US HELP YOU GET YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD SEALED OR EXPUNGED

Sealing & Expunging Your Criminal Record

Sealing or expunging your criminal record with a Tampa Expunctions Lawyer prevents most private employers from viewing your criminal background and removes the arrest and court progress docket from the internet. Pursuant to Florida Statute 943.045, your criminal history record is preserved, but it is inaccessible to the public. Once you seal your criminal background, only people with the proper legal authority can access it. Once you expunge your criminal record, the Florida court orders that it be destroyed.

Only the Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps a copy of your record when it is expunged. I like to explain it like sealing is having the record folded up many times so that almost nobody can access it; while expunging is more like someone reaches into the clerk and law enforcement file and yanks out the record. However, even expungement of the record does not mean that it will never haunt you again.

CAN YOUR FLORIDA CRIMINAL RECORD BE SEALED OR EXPUNGED?

  • The Florida case did not result in a criminal conviction. That means that either the conviction was withheld (withhold adjudication), the accused was acquitted after a trial (found not guilty) or you completed a diversion program.
  • You have never been convicted of a criminal offense (felony, misdemeanor, and certain driving offenses) or adjudicated delinquent for a criminal offense listed in Florida Statute Sections 943.051.
  • You have never had your criminal record expunged or sealed before (in Florida or any other state).
  • There are certain charges that may not be sealed. For a list of Florida’s disqualifying charges, see Florida Statute Section 907.041.
  • You must go through Florida’s Criminal Record Sealing Process.
  • If you have your Florida Criminal record sealed, our lawyers may be able to expunge your Florida Criminal record later. To expunge a withheld conviction or acquittal in Florida, you must have your Florida Criminal record sealed for 10 years prior to expunging your Florida criminal background.

If you can honestly answer “no” to each of these questions, then you are probably eligible to have your Florida record sealed or expunged. However, If the answer is “yes” to any one of these questions, then you are probably not eligible to have your Florida record sealed or expunged.

FLORIDA’S PROCEDURE TO SEAL OR EXPUNGE A CRIMINAL RECORD

In order to seal or expunge a criminal record in Florida, you must go through Florida’s Criminal Record Sealing or Expunging Process:

  • First, we must complete and notarize an application to seal or expunge (we have a notary at the office).
  • You must get your fingerprints completed by local law enforcement on a standard form that we will provide. These will be submitted to FDLE along with the completed application.
  • Apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a Certificate of Eligibility. To determine if you are eligible for this certificate, you may want to obtain a Florida Criminal Background Check through the Florida Department of Law enforcement.
  • If the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issues the Certificate of Eligibility, you will need to file a petition, affidavit, order, Certificate of Eligibility, and any other required documents with the court to obtain the Florida record seal or to expunge your Florida criminal record.
  • Once the Florida judge signs the order sealing the Florida criminal history or expunging the Florida criminal record, the Florida Order to Seal or the Florida Order to Expunge the Criminal Record must be sent to the agencies that have the Florida criminal record.
  • This still may not remove your record from private for profit sites that captured the data while it was public record. We will as a courtesy to you, send letters to these companies strongly urging them to remove the postings because the record has been sealed or expunged. Paying one site to remove your record just encourages another site o request money from you.

If you are interested in having a criminal record sealed or expunged, contact Thomas Law Group to discuss the nitty gritty details. Remember, you can only have one arrest or criminal episode sealed or expunged in your lifetime. This means you should consult a lawyer before making the step to have a record sealed or expunged.

Thomas Law