Expungements and Sealings

Expunging Criminal Records

A charge that was dismissed before trial (e.g., no information filed, nolle prosequi, dismissed, etc.) may be expunged as long as all charges related to the arrest were also disposed of and the individual is otherwise eligible. An individual can apply to have the record expunged after the case is dismissed.  Furthermore, Expungement is available for criminal records that have been sealed for at least ten years  To expunge a criminal record means that the public is not allowed access to any of the records of the arrest or prosecution. When a record has been expunged, any government or government-related entity which would have access to an sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had the record expunged. Such an entity would receive only a caveat statement indicating that a Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record.

Sealing of Criminal Records

Arrests that result in a court finding of “withhold of adjudication” can be sealed unless the offense is included on the statutory list of disqualifying offenses (some of the offenses are mentioned below). If the adjudication of guilt was withheld in a case, (and the offense is not one of the listed disqualifying offenses), then the defendant may be eligible to have their arrest sealed under applicable Florida law. When a criminal record is sealed, the public will no longer be able to access the record.  Although a record may be sealed, certain government or government-related entities, (listed in the Florida Statutes, Section 943.059(4)(a)), will still have access to all of the information in the sealed record.

Charges that Cannot be Expunged or Sealed

  • Arson
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Illegal use of explosives
  • Child abuse or Aggravated Child Abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Battery
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Sexual related offenses involving minors