Expungement/Sealing of a Criminal Record in Florida
What is the difference between expungement and sealing a record?
Sealing a criminal history record prevents the public from having access to it. However, certain governmental or related entities, especially those listed in S. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have full access to sealed records in their entirety.
An expunged record allows entities that would otherwise have access to a sealed record to be informed that the subject of the record has had the record expunged. However, an inquiring entity is not allowed access to the record itself without a court order. They will receive a caveat statement indicating that, “ CRIMINAL INFORMATION has been EXPUNGED from this record.”
Sealing a Criminal Record
To seal a criminal record, three things must be shown:
- The defendant has not been adjudicated guilty of the crime,
- The defendant has never been adjudicated guilty of any prior crime; and
- The defendant has not plead to a crime that is ineligible to be sealed or expunged, even if the adjudication has been withheld.
Expunging a Criminal Record
Certain felony offenses in Florida are eligible for an expungement. Before a defendant can successfully apply for an expungement, certain requirements must be met:
- All the criminal charges were dismissed; or
- The defendant was acquitted after a trial; and
- The defendant has not been found guilty of a crime as an adult.
Crimes That Can Neither be Sealed or Expunged
Below is a list of felonies that are not eligible for expungement or sealing, even if the court withholds of adjudication of guilt:
- Domestic violence
- Child molestation
- Aggravated assault
- Drug trafficking
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- Lude conduct
- Child abuse
- Child sexual abuse
- Car jacking
- Child pornography
- Elder abuse
- Illegal pornography
T. Charles Shafer has helped countless others seal and expunge their criminal records. Call today and schedule a consultation and let him to do the same for you.