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Thomas & Paulk, P.A. - Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys

Tampa Expungement Attorney

How To Seal Your Criminal Record in Florida

In Florida, an "expungement" or "record sealing" allows you to have certain criminal records hidden or removed from your history. Are you interested in getting your record expunged/sealed? First, you need to learn if you qualify.

Call 813.321.7323 to learn if you qualify!

Do I qualify for criminal record expungement?

In order to qualify for expungement, you must meet the following criteria –

  1. In the case you are trying to expunge, there was no filing of an indictment, information, or charging document.
  2. If an indictment or charging document was filed in your case, it was dismissed and none of those charges resulted in a trial.
  3. The charge/case in question cannot relate to any of the following offenses:
    • Sexual misconduct
    • Luring or enticing a child
    • Lewd or lascivious offenses
    • Voyeurism
    • Communications fraud
    • Sexual performance by a child
    • Obscenity involving a minor
    • Computer pornography
    • Traveling to meet a minor
    • Selling or buying of minors
    • Trafficking
    • Any offense that could qualify someone as a sexual predator
  4. Pay a $75 processing fee
  5. Obtain and submit a copy of your disposition
  6. You have never, at any point prior to your filing for expungement, been adjudicated guilty of a felony or misdemeanor.
  7. You have never before (or within the past 10 years) obtained an expunction.
  8. You are no longer under any court supervision.

Filing for a Certificate of Eligibility

If you believe that you meet the eligibility requirements for obtaining an expungement of criminal records, you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. This is what you will use to petition to the court to seal or expunge a criminal record.

Expungement Common Questions

Who is record sealing for?
In Florida, record sealing is for individuals who were arrested and charged with a crime, but never adjudicated guilty. This means that either their charges were dropped or their case was dismissed. Even when an individual's charges are dropped, their criminal record is still public unless it is sealed.

Is there any difference between sealing your record and expunging your record?
The criteria and guidelines for sealing and different for expunging. § 943.0585 of the Florida Statutes lays out the rules for court-ordered expunction while § 943.059 of the Florida Statutes describes court-ordered sealing of criminal history records. The major different is that with sealing, the public no longer has access to your criminal records, but some governmental agencies still do. With expungement, even these governmental agencies would not have open access to your criminal record.

Can I get my records sealed more than once?
No. One of the requirements for obtaining a record sealing or expungement is that you have never previously obtained an expungement/sealing. You may be able to get multiple arrest records, but only if the court determines that those arrest records are directly related (i.e. arising from the same event).

11C-7: Florida Expunction Procedures

Florida Statutes dictate requirements for expungements and record sealings, but administrative procedures are outlined in the Florida Administrative Code Chapter 11C-7. Here, you can find procedures on court-ordered expunctions, court-ordered sealings, administrative expunction procedures, and procedures on juvenile diversion expunctions.

Let Thomas & Paulk Handle the Logistics

If this sounds complex, that's because it is. It is easy to get bogged down by the intricacies of the Florida legal system, but that's why Thomas & Paulk is here to help. Contact a Tampa expungement lawyer at our firm today for a free evaluation of your case. We can advise you on your legal rights and options, and should you retain our law firm, we can guide you through the record sealing process.

To learn more about how we can help you, call (813) 321-7323 today!

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Thomas & Paulk, P.A. - Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at 217 N Howard Ave, Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33606.
Phone: (813) 321-7323.
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