Expunge a Criminal Record in Florida
In Florida there are two ways to make it possible for a past criminal record that did not result in a conviction to be cleared from the public records. Florida criminal records can be sealed, or a Florida arrest record may be expunged. Either process is a legal proceeding, and an application for expungement or for sealing of criminal records must be made to the court of record. Therefore expunging a criminal record is not something that should be attempted without the skills of an experienced Florida criminal record attorney.
The legal difference between sealing or expungement of a Florida criminal record can be a little complicated, but the actual difference is a simple one. When your record is expunged the “paperwork” (and electronic records) are actually physically destroyed by the court and the law enforcement agencies that have been holding them. If your Florida criminal record is sealed, the documentation will still physically exist, but the records are “sealed” from pubic view and no one can access them without a Court Order.
The goal of a Florida expungement or sealing your criminal record is the same - to give you a fresh start. Once your Florida criminal record has been expunged, it is as if that arrest and everything that transpired thereafter never happened. You do not have to answer “yes” on any kind of application to the question of “have you ever been arrested", and you can legally say "no" to any such question.
A Florida arrest record can be expunged if:
The State has dropped the charges against you, legally referred to as Nolle Prosse, or Nolle Prosequi
The Court or the Attorney General’s office has dismissed the charges against you
You were found “Not Guilty” by a Judge or Jury
The prosecutor decides not to file charges against you, legally referred to as “No File” or “No Action”
Unlike in the case of sealing Florida criminal records, there are no exceptions to expungement as long as you were cleared of all charges either by being found not guilty, or having your case dismissed, dropped, or not filed.
Please contact our law office at 1-954.723.0007 or email us at criminal expunge and seal if you need to expunge a Florida felony record, or any Florida criminal record.
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