As a Florida Expungement attorney and a Port St. Lucie Expungement Attorney, I am often asked about expunging and sealing a record.

Consequences of Not Sealing and/or Expunging Your Criminal Record

Not sealing and/or expunging your criminal record may have negative consequences. An Employer, landlord, creditor, will often conduct a background check to determine if you have any criminal history. A criminal history could limit your job prospects and places where you may be able to reside. Sealing and/or expunging your record will allow you to legally deny that you were arrested for an offense.

How Many Times Can I Seal and/or Expunge My Criminal Record?

Florida law permits the applicant one time only assuming all eligibility requirements are met.

What Is the Difference Between Sealing and Expunging Your Criminal Record?

While a lot of people use both expungement and sealing interchangeably, they are different. When your criminal record is sealed, it will no longer be available to the general public (landlords, employers, money lenders… etc) but it still be available to several law enforcement agencies and all courts of law. On the other hand, if your criminal record is expunged, it will no longer be available to all law enforcement agencies and other agencies in addition to being unavailable to the general public.

Requirements for Sealing and Expungement in Florida

Unfortunately, not everyone is qualified for sealing and expungement. You may qualify for one, but not the other. For instance, an expungement is only reserved for instances where the individual received a nolle prosequi, no information, and/or acquittal.

If on the other hand, you received a withhold of adjudication you may qualify for a sealing if it is your first offense. Meaning you have no prior charges you were convicted for. Example if you were convicted of a DUI prior to the new offense, you would not be able to seal your record on a qualifying offense. Read below:

No prior sealing or expungement: For any of your record to be sealed or expunged, you should not have any other record sealed or expunged. That means you can’t enjoy the privilege twice.

No prior conviction: There must be no prior conviction whatsoever.

No court supervision: You should not be under any court supervision like pretrial release, house arrest, probation… etc.

The offense is not ineligible for sealing or expungement: The offense you were charged with must not be one of the ineligible crimes for sealing or expungement in Florida. See Florida Statute ¤ 943.0585 for a list of those offenses.

The application for expungement and/or sealing is located on the FDLE website.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

Contacting an experienced Port St. Lucie expungement attorney is the first step in protecting your future. At Dadan Law Firm we offer a free consultation. We will let you know in advance if you meet the eligibility requirements.

The process is usually long and complex and a little mistake could cause a delay or lead to a total denial so you need the services of a Fort Pierce criminal lawyer to help you get the process right from the beginning.

For more information on sealing and expungement in Florida,visit: