Tampa Expungement Attorneys

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Florida

If you have been convicted, you are likely still feeling the weight of these matters. Although you may have served your time and paid your fines, some would say the aftermath is worse because of the marks on your criminal record. Many employers may have a big concern regarding ex-convicts. You could lose your job or find it extremely difficult to get a job that pays more than minimum wage.

However, you may be able to have your record expunged. In Florida, an "expungement" or "record sealing" allows you to have certain records hidden or removed from your history. While your record will never be permanently erased, having it expunged means that, for example, the public will no longer have access to your records when looking during an employment background check. 

Expungement FAQ

How Are Sealing and Expunging Your Record Different?

The criteria for sealing is different than 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 significant difference is that the public no longer has access to your criminal records with sealing, but some governmental agencies still do. With an expungement, even governmental agencies would not have open access to your criminal record.

Who Is Eligible for Record Sealing?

Record sealing is intended for individuals who were charged but never adjudicated guilty. This means their charges were dropped or the case was dismissed. Even in these cases, their criminal record is still public. Record sealing would handle that.

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 or had your criminal records sealed. You may be able to get multiple arrest records expunged, but only if the court believes they are related. Every case is different, so ask your attorney what applies.

Ask Our Tampa Expungement Lawyers

If you want to have your record expunged, please contact Thomas & Paulk for insight from a trusted Tampa criminal defense lawyer. We offer a free initial evaluation of your case and can draw upon experience representing thousands of clients over the past two decades. We can advise you on your legal rights and options. Should you retain our law firm, we can guide you through the record sealing process.

Looking to have your Florida criminal record expunged or sealed? Contact our firm for your free initial consultation!

Face a Brighter Future

Expungement gives a person the opportunity to clear their criminal record, which can positively affect virtually every area of their life. Now is your chance to learn more about the Florida expungement process, what to expect, and whether you may qualify.

Play Video

Tampa, FL Expungement Information

Qualifying for Expungement in Florida

Several factors are taken into consideration before a court will allow expungement. First, they will look at how long ago the crime was and your current criminal record to see if you have stayed clear of illegal activities. Next, the court will consider the specific crime you were convicted of before determining whether to let you have your record cleared. For example, they will generally not allow a sex offender to have their record expunged because the court deems them to be a threat to society.

If the following apply, you may qualify for expungement in Florida:

  • There was no filing of an indictment, information, or charging document.
  • If the indictment/charging document was filed, it was dismissed.
  • The charge/case in question did not relate to certain criminal offenses, such as sexual misconduct, trafficking, or any offense that qualifies one as a sexual predator.
  • You have paid a $75 processing fee.
  • You obtained and submitted a copy of your disposition.
  • You have never, before your filing, been adjudicated guilty of a felony or misdemeanor.
  • You have never (or within the past 10 years) obtained an expunction.
  • You are no longer under any court supervision.

Regardless of your circumstances, the Tampa expungement lawyers at Thomas & Paulk can help. It’s easy to get bogged down by the intricacies of the Florida legal system, but we have the experience and resources to take you through the process while protecting your rights.

Expunging DUI Records in Florida

Being convicted of DUI can have serious repercussions, including jail time and fines. However, the consequences of a DUI conviction can go beyond the time spent behind bars. Being charged with a DUI can affect a person’s ability to secure a job, get approval for a loan, or lease an apartment. While it is not always possible to make your past “go away,” some people qualify for expungement. This essentially clears a DUI from your record.

A DUI expungement would mean civilian employers would not see your conviction on a background check. It would also entitle you to answer “no” when asked if you’ve been convicted of a crime. The only employers who could see your criminal record would be law enforcement and government entities. Although the government would still know that you were convicted for DUI, it would be sealed to the public.

To expunge your DUI record, the court will consider how long ago you were convicted, if you have been arrested or convicted of other offenses since, and other key details about your case. 

Judges want to see that you’re not having ongoing problems with the law before they allow your records to be expunged. The judge will also consider the severity of the crime for which you were convicted. For example, if you were pulled over for a DUI while running a stop sign, the judge may be more likely to give you the chance to have your record expunged. However, if your DUI caused an injury accident, the likelihood of expungement decreases considerably.

The judge will also consider the severity of other criminal arrests and convictions on your record. Even if these offenses were before the DUI, the court might not give you the chance to start over entirely. For example, the court does not expunge sex crimes from any record.

Contact our Tampa expungement attorneys for your free consultation.

Why Choose Our Tampa Criminal Defense Firm?

  • 100% Free Consultation
    We'll hear what happened and explain your legal options to you.
  • Available 24/7
    No matter what time of day or night you need us, we're here for you.
  • 7,000+ Criminal Cases Handled
    We have a track record of success in helping people protect their rights.
  • Aggressive Defense Strategies
    We're not afraid to take on complex cases. We fight hard so you can win.

Contact Us

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.