Sealing And Expunging Your Criminal Record

Having trouble finding a job because of your criminal history? Sealing and expunging your criminal record may be a solution.

If you were a first time offender and received a withhold of adjudication, meaning you are not a convicted felon, you are eligible to seal your criminal record.

If you were a first time offender and your case was dismissed, either by attending a pretrial diversion program, by the State deciding not to go forward on your case, or by being acquitted by a jury, you are eligible to expunge your criminal record.

Certain offenses, such as DUI's and forcible felonies cannot be sealed. If you have more than one case, you are not eligible to seal or expunge your record.

The process to seal and expunge your criminal record can take a long time. Here is what is involved:

  1. First, you must obtain a certified copy of your criminal record.

  2. You must get your fingerprints taken on a special fingerprint form.

  3. You must fill out and notarize an application to seal or expunge.

  4. To expunge your record, you must send a form to the State Attorney's Office for approval. It usually takes about thirty days for them to review your documentation and forward it back to you.

  5. Your form then needs to be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to request a certificate of eligibility. This usually takes about four months and costs $75.00.

  6. After you obtain your certificate of eligibility, you must file an affidavit, petition and draft an order for the Court.

  7. You must pay a fee for certified copies, about $125.00, to be sent to all of the law enforcement agencies who publish your criminal record.

Note that your Motion to Seal and Expunge your record only removes or seals documents possessed by the Courts and law enforcement. There are many private companies who have purchased your information from the Clerk and will publish it for a fee. They will also remove your information if you provide them with a certified copy of your order showing that your record is sealed or expunged.

At Williams and Trese, we will handle your Motion to Seal or Expunge for a reasonable attorney fee and costs. We include notification to private companies. We know how important your reputation is, and we know how hard it is to get ahead when an isolated incident keeps holding you back. Call us today. We are here to help.