In some cases, having a criminal record can negatively impact several areas of your life.
In certain cases, Florida allows you to expunge or seal your criminal record.
Expunging or sealing a record in Florida means that members of the public cannot view the record.
This can help you obtain employment or secure an apartment without disclosing your previous charge or arrest.
Whether you can expunge a criminal charge in Florida depends on the type of crime and the results of your case.
If you need help understanding what crimes can be expunged in Florida, contact Orlando Defense for assistance.
Expunging a Record vs. Sealing a Record in Florida
Many people know you can expunge a criminal charge in Florida under certain circumstances. However, some don’t realize that sealing your criminal record can have a similar effect.
What is the difference between having a record sealed compared to having it expunged?
Essentially, having a criminal record expunged means the physical copy of the record is destroyed by the criminal agency that has custody of it.
After you expunge your criminal record, you no longer have to disclose it to potential employers, educational institutions, or on background checks.
Alternatively, you can seal your criminal record in Florida. Sealing a criminal record does not result in the destruction or deletion of the record.
Instead, Florida places the criminal record under government protection and considers it confidential. Like an expungement, the sealed criminal record is not accessible by the public. However, it is still accessible by law enforcement and certain governmental agencies.
Felony Expungement in Florida
In Florida, charges that were ultimately dropped, dismissed, or resulted in an acquittal are eligible for expungement.
The other requirements for expungement are laid out in Section 943.0585(1) of the Florida Statutes and include:
- No convictions for a criminal violation in Florida;
- No adjudication of delinquency as a juvenile (which is essentially a juvenile conviction); and
- You must have no other record sealing or expungement petitions pending before other courts.
Additionally, in some cases a charge may be sealed if adjudication was withheld.
However, for certain charges Florida prohibits the expungement of certain criminal violations regardless of whether adjudication was withheld.
Some of these criminal violations include:
- Drug trafficking;
- Manslaughter or homicide;
- Burglary of a dwelling;
- Stalking or aggravated stalking;
- Sexual performance by a child;
- Illegal use of explosives;
- Sexual misconduct;
- Providing obscene material to minors;
- Any offense that requires registration as a sexual predator under Florida Statutes Section 775.21;
- Procuring a minor for prostitution; and
- Child abuse.
If you want to know whether you qualify for felony expungement in Florida, contact Orlando Defense to talk to a qualified expungement lawyer.
Need Help Determining What Crimes Can Be Expunged in Florida? We’re Here to Help
Florida’s expungement statute lays out several requirements and exemptions. This often presents difficulties for criminal defendants. But don’t worry, we can provide the assistance you need.
Attorney Jeffery Higgins has helped many clients expunge their criminal records, removing a hurdle that’s hurting their chances of getting their lives back on track.
As a former public defender, Attorney Higgins possesses extensive experience representing clients in court. If you want your criminal record sealed or expunged but don’t know if you qualify, contact Orlando Defense today.