SEALING AND EXPUNCTION
Criminal history record
If the case against you was dropped or dismissed and you have not been previously found guilty of a crime, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. If your record is expunged, then it is destroyed with the exception of a copy kept by FDLE.
If your case was not dropped or dismissed but the judge withheld adjudication and your have not previously been convicted of a crime, then you may be eligible to have your case sealed. If it is sealed, the record is not actually destroyed, but access to your record is sealed off from the general public.
Whether the case is sealed or expunged, there are certain circumstances when your charges will still show up on a record search. These circumstances usually involve a new criminal charge or certain jobs that require a certification from the government such as a law enforcement officer, lawyer, teacher or someone that works with children or the elderly.
Despite what many people think, this process does not happen automatically. It requires completing an application process and obtaining a certificate of eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. After obtaining a certificate, an legally valid affidavit and a petition must be filed with the court. Even though you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged, the court can still decided to hold a hearing to argue why your records should be sealed or expunged.
Contact the Ford Law Office to find out if you are eligible to have your record sealed or expunged.