How long does it take to expunge a case?

Written by:Julian Stroleny PortraitJulian Stroleny
record expungement

To help you understand how long it will take to expunge your case, we ask that you imagine collaborating with three separate government agencies. Not a very interesting thought experiment, we know, but it’s a highly important one in any case. The question of duration hinges largely upon whether one or all of these processes is delayed. Delays occur often, and it’s helpful to know which leg of the problem is undergoing a bottleneck to ascertain your likely waiting period. It’s also possible to enlist the services of an experienced Miami criminal attorney to shorten the process. We’ll explain this part later.

With this in mind, let’s take a look underneath the bonnet of the various processes involved.

Step 1: Without the State Attorney’s signature, the process can go no further. Usually, should delays in this leg of the process occur, they may take anywhere between a few weeks to several months to be resolved. Fear not though; these sorts of delays, while plainly annoying, are usually the shortest of all.

Usual Processing Time: Four weeks, barring delays.

Step 2:  This stage is the domain of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Although their offices are situated throughout Florida State, the one you’ll be dealing with for expungement needs is situated in Tallahassee. Their job is to assess the disposition which has been signed in step 1. They’ll also examine the criminal history of the person making the expunge request. Delays at this stage of the process can mean it’ll take anywhere between 3 to 5 months.

Usual Processing Time: 3 months – 3 months without delays.

Step 3: The judge then finally signs the order for the expungement. However this process requires your Miami criminal defense lawyer to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility from the FDLE in step 2. For this, our criminal defense law firm in Miami will file three important documents with the prosecutor, the judge’s office, and the Clerk of court respectively.

Only then is the judge prompted to sign the expunge order. Judges, who have grown tired of delays occurring in step 2, have as a result, begun to set an artificial deadline in response to our petitions to expunge. This provides a considerable window of opportunity for a skilled Miami criminal lawyer to work within, often shortening the process by months.

Usual Processing Time: Varies widely. Between a few months to just shy of a year, often depending on the skill of your Miami criminal attorney.

Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions, (305) 615-1285.