Can I Seal or Expunge my Criminal Record?

Is expunging your criminal record possible? Florida criminal history records are public unless the record is sealed or expunged. A criminal history record is created when a person is arrested and fingerprinted and includes the result of that arrest, whether it is a conviction, acquittal, dismissal of charges before trial, or other disposition.

When a criminal history record is sealed, the general public will not have access to it. Some governmental agencies will still be able to access the file. When a record has been expunged, those entities will be told that the record has been expunged or erased.

If you want to have your record sealed or expunged, one of the requirements is that you swear you have never previously had a record sealed or expunged. More than one record may be sealed or expunged during a single proceeding, but the court must determine the arrests are directly related.

Another requirement to have your record sealed or expunged is that you cannot have been adjudicated of any prior criminal act. You are eligible to have your record sealed or expunged if your charges have been dismissed without a trial (by the court or the prosecutor) or if you have been found guilty, but the judge withheld adjudication.

There are certain crimes which do not qualify for sealing or expunction. For more details about these crimes, as well as the process, check out Florida Statute Sections, 943.0585 and 943.059.

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