Record Sealing and Expunction

Fees:

    • Free Consultation
    • Preparation of your Case and the pertinent Paperwork- $375.00
      • Preparation to obtain FDLE certificate of eligibility
      • Preparation of your petition to the Court
      • Filing of all court Documents
      • Notifying all agencies of the signed order by the Court.
    • Additional Fees:
      • Court appearances- $350.00 per appearance (appearances not required on all cases)
      • Cost to obtain Certified Copy of the judgment and Sentence in your case- will depend on the County, but most start at $25.00
      • FDLE Background Check- $24.00
      • FDLE Certificate of Eligibility- payable to the FDLE- $75.00
      • Court Filing Fees- will depend on the County, but can be anywhere between $45.00 to a $100.00.

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The difference between sealing and expunction:

When a record is sealed, the record is not destroyed, but will be only accessible though certain agencies, including government and federal agencies. When a record is expunged, it is destroyed.

If your record is expunged, the government agencies will still see that a record was expunged, but will only be able to obtain details through court order.

You will be able to legally deny or fail to acknowledge the arrest but that does not apply if you are applying for citizenship, if you are seeking to be licensed by a government agency, or if you are seeking employment with a governmental agency.


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Qualifying to have a record sealed:

  • Submitting the application to FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Submitting certificate along with filings to the Court for approval, including petitioner's sworn statement attesting to his/her eligibility.
  • Having a Hearing on the matter (not required in all cases)
  • Notifying Criminal Agencies of the signed order by the Court.



Eligibility:

  • Only one arrest or incident of alleged criminal activity may be sealed.
  • The court may, at its sole discretion, order the sealing of a criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest.
  • Petitioner must have never, prior to the date on which the petition is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense, including ordinance violations. If you received a "withhold of adjudication", you may qualify to have the records sealed as long as you qualify under all of the other requirements.
  • Petitioner has never secured a prior sealing or expunction in Florida or any other State.
  • Petitioner has not been adjudicated guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to seal pertains.
  • Petitioner is eligible for such a sealing to the best of his or her knowledge or belief and does not have any other petition to seal or any petition to expunge pending before any court.

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Crimes which cannot be expunged/sealed in the State of Florida even if the adjudication was withheld:

A request for a certificate of eligibility for an expunction or sealing of a criminal history record will be denied if the defendant was found guilty or pled guilty or nolo contendere, even if the adjudication of guilt was withheld, on any violation of the following:

  • Arson
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Illegal use of explosives
  • Child abuse or Aggravated Child Abuse
  • Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Kidnapping
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Battery
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years
  • Sexual activity with a child, who is between 12-18 years of age, by or at solicitation of a person in familial or custodial authority
  • Burglary of a dwelling
  • Stalking and Aggravated Stalking
  • Act of Domestic Violence as defined in s. 741.28 F.S.
  • Home-invasion Robbery
  • Act of Terrorism as defined by s. 775.30 F.S.
  • Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893
  • Attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes
  • Sexual misconduct with developmentally disabled person and related offenses
  • Sexual misconduct with mental health patient and related offenses
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Sexual Battery and related offenses
  • Procuring person under 18 for prostitution
  • Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age
  • Voyeurism
  • Florida Communication Fraud Act -(Scheme to Defraud or Organized Fraud, as used in s.817.034, F.S.)
  • Lewd or lascivious offense upon or in presence of elderly person or disabled person
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Offenses by Public Officers and Employees.
  • Showing, selling, etc., obscene literature to minor
  • Computer pornography
  • Selling or buying of minors
  • Trafficking in controlled substances
  • Sexual misconduct with mentally deficient or mentally ill defendant and related offenses
  • A violation of any offense qualify for registration as a sexual predator under s.775.21 or for registration as a sexual offender under s.943.0435.

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Qualifying to have a record expunged:

  • Submitting the application to FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Submitting certificate along with filings to the Court for approval, including petitioner's sworn statement attesting to his/her eligibility.
  • Having a Hearing on the matter (not required in all cases)
  • Notifying Criminal Agencies of the signed order by the Court.


Eligibility:

1. That an indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or issued in the case.

2. That an indictment, information, or other charging document, if filed or issued in the case, was dismissed or nolle prosequi by the state attorney or statewide prosecutor, or was dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction, and that none of the charges related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains resulted in a trial, without regard to whether the outcome of the trial was other than an adjudication of guilt.

3. That the criminal record does not pertain to a violation of:

  • Arson
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Illegal use of explosives
  • Child abuse or Aggravated Child Abuse
  • Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Kidnapping
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Battery
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years
  • Sexual activity with a child, who is between 12-18 years of age, by or at solicitation of a person in familial or custodial authority
  • Burglary of a dwelling
  • Stalking and Aggravated Stalking
  • Act of Domestic Violence as defined in s. 741.28 F.S.
  • Home-invasion Robbery
  • Act of Terrorism as defined by s. 775.30 F.S.
  • Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893
  • Attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes
  • Sexual misconduct with developmentally disabled person and related offenses
  • Sexual misconduct with mental health patient and related offenses
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Sexual Battery and related offenses
  • Procuring person under 18 for prostitution
  • Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age
  • Voyeurism
  • Florida Communication Fraud Act -(Scheme to Defraud or Organized Fraud, as used in s.817.034, F.S.)
  • Lewd or lascivious offense upon or in presence of elderly person or disabled person
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Offenses by Public Officers and Employees.
  • Showing, selling, etc., obscene literature to minor
  • Computer pornography
  • Selling or buying of minors
  • Trafficking in controlled substances
  • Sexual misconduct with mentally deficient or mentally ill defendant and related offenses
  • A violation of any offense qualify for registration as a sexual predator under s.775.21 or for registration as a sexual offender under s.943.0435.

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Juvenile Records:

A juvenile diversion expunction does not count as a sealing/expunction, but there is a time limit (6 months after diversion program was completed), and there are certain exceptions. You must act as soon as possible, if your eligibility is about to expire.

According to section 943.0582 of the Florida Statutes:

Non Judicial Arrests:

A juvenile may be able to expunge a non-judicial arrest after the completion of a diversion program.

Notwithstanding any law dealing generally with the preservation and destruction of public records, the department may provide, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, for the expunction of any nonjudicial record of the arrest of a minor who has successfully completed a prearrest or postarrest diversion program for minors as authorized by s. 985.125.

The person will still have to disclose the juvenile record and/or the record will still be available to criminal justice agencies for the purpose of determining further diversion programs eligibility, and/or where the person is seeking employment with a criminal justice agency.

The department shall expunge the nonjudicial arrest record of a minor who has successfully completed a prearrest or postarrest diversion program if that minor:

  • Submits an application for prearrest or postarrest diversion expunction, on a form 1prescribed by the department, signed by the minor's parent or legal guardian, or by the minor if he or she has reached the age of majority at the time of applying.
  • Submits the application for prearrest or postarrest diversion expunction no later than 6 months after completion of the diversion program.
  • Submits to the department, with the application, an official written statement from the state attorney for the county in which the arrest occurred certifying that he or she has successfully completed that county's prearrest or postarrest diversion program and that participation in the program is strictly limited to minors arrested for a nonviolent misdemeanor who have not otherwise been charged with or found to have committed any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.
  • Participated in a prearrest or postarrest diversion program that expressly authorizes or permits such expunction to occur.
  • Participated in a prearrest or postarrest diversion program based on an arrest for a nonviolent misdemeanor that would not qualify as an act of domestic violence as that term is defined in s.741.28.
  • Has never, prior to filing the application for expunction, been charged with or been found to have committed any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.

Can a person who had a juvenile post-diversion expunction apply to have an adult record expunged or sealed?

  • A post-diversion expunction should not count as a strike towards having an adult record expunged or sealed,as long as the person qualifies under the rules to expunge or to seal. Each case is different as it brings a different set of facts and circumstances.