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Florida Expungement Laws

Florida allows a person to expunge a criminal record if that record did not lead to a conviction (finding or plea of guilt) or if it has already been sealed for 10 or more years. A person may be eligible to seal their Florida criminal record if they received withheld adjudication and successfully completed their sentence. Not all offenses are eligible. Take our free online eligibility test to see if it is possible to expunge or seal your Florida criminal record.

Again, if you were found guilty, pled guilty or pled no contest to a criminal charge, you are not eligible for expungement in Florida. Expungement is only for arrests that did not lead to a conviction or for criminal records that were sealed 10 or more years ago.

Expungement typically takes about 7 months in Florida. Most attorneys charge around $900 for expungement. Some attorneys offer a money back guarantee in case the judge does not grant your expungement. Florida has a separate legal process to restore firearm rights if that is the main reason for your expungement request. However, the government's backlog on processing those cases is more than 4 years long.

There are plenty of examples of how Hollywood has glamorized criminal activity. Yes, the bad guys never get away with their crimes, but there is still something fascinating about watching movies like "Scarface" or "The Godfather." Even video games like "Grand Theft Auto" let you assume the role of the bad guy. What about getting arrested for a minor offense in real life? No one is going to make a movie of that, but that arrest record can stick with you and stop you from getting a good job or a bank loan. If this arrest occurred in Florida, you have the option to pursue getting those records expunged or sealed. This can prevent anyone in the public arena from accessing these files.

The first step is to find out if you qualify for a Florida expungement or sealing of the records. You can be granted a Florida expungement if your arrest charges were never filed by the district attorney, they decided to drop the case, the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty by a judge or jury. You can also get an expungement if you plead guilty and complete whatever sentence is handed down to the court.

On the other hand, you won't qualify if you were convicted of the crime you were charged with (different from pleading guilty) or you have another arrest or charge on your record. In other words, one expungement per person. There is also a long list of offenses that don't qualify for expungement even if you do plead guilty. These include arson, battery, carjacking, child abuse, sexual violations, domestic violence, drug trafficking, illegal use of explosives, kidnapping, homicide, home invasion robbery or prostitution.

Once your record is expunged in Florida, you will be able to apply to a wide range of state and local government jobs such as teaching or law enforcement. As with any court filing there is a small fee. In Florida the cost for an expungement petition is $75. This doesn't mean that you just pay your money and you're done. You have to make sure you have filled out the proper forms and you have all the relevant documentation. This is where an experienced lawyer can help move the process along. Without that type of professional legal guidance you might find yourself back to square one. This is not something you want to leave to inexperience.

Free Elligibility Check

Our free eligibility check is your first step toward clearing your record.

Top 10 Reasons

  • 1. Employment
  • 2. Education
  • 3. Housing
  • 4. Loans
  • 5. Licensing
  • 6. Insurance
  • 7. Firearm Rights
  • 8. Federal Assistance
  • 9. Adoption
  • 10. Volunteering

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