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Why Should I have my record Sealed or Expunged?
There are several benefits to having your record sealed or expunged. The most common reason people seek to do this is to clear their name and prevent the case from appearing in background checks when applying for employment, housing rentals, and such. The other great benefit is that you have the legal right to deny you were ever even arrested for the offense. There are some exceptions to this right.
Why do I have to Seal or Expunge my case if the charges were dropped or dismissed?
Florida law requires that criminal cases are public record unless sealed or expunged. See Florida Statute 943.053(3). Criminal history exists when a person is arrested and fingerprinted, and includes the disposition, and includes the disposition (resolution) of that arrest, whether it is a conviction, acquittal, dismissal of charges prior to trial, or some other result.
What is the difference between Seal and Expunge?
When you seal a record, the public will not longer have access to it. Certain government entities will still have access to a record that is sealed. When you expunge a record, those certain government entities would not have access without a court order and would be informed that the record has been expunged. The public would have no access to an expunged record.
Can anything be done about my mugshot being posted online?
Many private companies have found a way to profit from other peoples’ misfortunes and have used Florida’s public records laws to their benefit. Unfortunately these private companies are not required to take down your mugshot from their websites. There are some ways to deal with these companies but the process is not easy.
How long does it take to Seal or Expunge my case?
The process can take several months and the reason it takes so long is because we have obtain a certificate of eligibility from Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) before getting a court order. FDLE has a waiting list to process your case. The current wait period is approximately 90 days. Once the certificate of eligibility is obtained, a judge must make a final ruling.
How many cases can I have Sealed or Expunged?
Only one (1). Florida Statute s. 943.0585(2)(f) and s. 943.059(2) says that you can not get a case sealed or expunged if you have ever had any criminal history sealed or expunged. There is a provision that allows FDLE to seal or expunge multiple arrest dates, at their discretion, if the incidents are sufficiently related to each other.
Can I Expunge a record that was previously Sealed?
Yes after 10 years.