Do you have an arrest you would like to make disappear? If you want to clear your criminal record, we can help you seal or expunge your arrest if you qualify for the state program. Sealing or expunging an arrest can be a complicated process with many confusing details, but our criminal defense attorney has created a simple and clear guide to explain the sealing and expunging process.
Difference Between Sealing and Expungement of Criminal Charges
When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.
When a record has been expunged, the public will not have access to it. Those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that “Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record”.
What Charges May be Expunged?
The same eligibility requirements which apply to sealing also apply to expunction, with certain additional requirements. Any charge, which resulted in a withholding of adjudication or in a “not guilty” verdict at trial, may not be expunged unless and until it has first been sealed for at least 10 years. See s. 943.0585(2)(h), Florida Statutes. A charge which was dismissed before trial (e.g., no information, no action, nolle prosequi, no bill, etc.) may be expunged immediately provided all charges related to the arrest were so disposed of, and the record is otherwise eligible.
Instances Where You Must Reveal Your Record Was Sealed or Expunged
After your criminal history is sealed or expunged, you may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed or expunged record, except when you are:
- A candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
- A defendant in a criminal prosecution;
- Concurrently or subsequently petitioning for relief under s.943.0585 or s.943.059;
- A candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
- Seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly;
- Seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities; or
- Attempting to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer and is the subject to a criminal history background check under state or federal law.
Charges That May Not be Sealed or Expunged
A request for a certificate of eligible for an expunction or sealing of a criminal history record will be denied if you were found guilty or pled guilty or nolo contrendere, even if the adjudication was withheld, on any violation of the following:
Offenses listed in S.907.041, F.S.
- 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
- Sexual Battery
- 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 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, by or at solicitation of a person in familial or custodial authority
- Burglary of a dwelling
- Stalking of Aggravated Stalking
- Act of Domestic Violence, as defined in s.741.28
- Home-invasion Robbery
- Act of Terrorism as defined by s.775.30
- Attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes
- Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893
Sexual misconduct with developmentally disabled person and related offenses
Sexual misconduct with mentally ill person and related offenses
Luring or enticing a child
Chapter 794, F.S.
Sexual Battery and related offense
Procuring person under 18 for prostitution
Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age
Florida Communication Fraud Act
(Scheme to Defraud or Organized Fraud, as defined in s.817.034, F.S.)
Lewd or lascivious offense upon or in presence of elderly person or disabled adult
Sexual performance by a child
Chapter 839, F.S.
Offenses by Public Officers and Employees
Showing, etc., obscene literature to minor
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
Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Julian Stroleny has helped countless clients expunge or seal their criminal records. To schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options, call the criminal defense attorney with the experience necessary to handle your case. Call Stroleny Law, P.A. at (305) 615-1285 today for all of your Miami or Broward Criminal Defense needs.