1) What is the difference between expunging and sealing a record?

Sealing of a record denies access of the record to the public.  However, some government agencies will be able to access the record.
Expungement of a record denies access to all, however, those agencies that would have had access had the record been sealed, will instead be informed that this record has been expunged.

2) Which charges are eligible for expungement and which charges are eligible for sealing?

If adjudication is withheld on a charge listed under Florida Statute 943.059, it may not be sealed.  If one has been found guilty of a charge, that record may not be sealed.

If adjudication is withheld on a  charge listed under Florida Statute 943.09, it may not be expunged.  Additionally, if one receives a withhold of adjudication or not guilty verdict at a trial, the record may not be expunged, until after the record has been sealed for 10 years.  If one has been found guilty of a charge, that record may not be expunged.

3) What information or documents will my attorney need to complete an expungement/sealing of my record?

  • The case number and county in which the crime was prosecuted.
  • Any police reports, court documents from the case
  • A completed Certificate of Eligibility
  • A complete set of finger prints obtained by FDLE on the Certificate of Eligibility
  • A certified copy of the final disposition in the case

4) How many arrests/cases can I have expunged or sealed?

One can expunge or seal only one date of arrest.  However, if one or more crime resulted from the same arrest and the court finds that they are directly related, the court may allow those charges to be expunged or sealed jointly.