Common Sealing & Expungement Questions

What’s the difference between a sealing and expungement?

For an expungement, the court orders that your court file be physically destroyed. For a sealing, the court does not order that your court file is to be physically destroyed, but instead made non-public. Both actions require the clerk remove all case information from their website. And criminal case files not resulting in a conviction are eventually destroyed. Therefore the practical advantages from an expungement and a sealing are very similar.

Can I seal my record?

You can seal your record if you were not convicted of the crime, have never previously sealed or expunged your record and if your crime is not on the sealing exclusion list if you received a withhold of adjudication.

If I seal my record, can I deny the fact I was ever arrested?

Yes, with very few limitations. Here is a list of the entities that are entitled be advised of a sealed or expunged record.

What happens to my court file if I seal my record?

Your case is removed from the clerk’s website, from FDLE records and all public records. A court order is placed in your court file that makes it not available to the public.

Can I seal more than one crime?

No, Florida law only allows one sealing (with a juvenile administrative expungement being the lone exception).

If I win at trial, can I expunge my record?

No, for some reason Florida law does not allow you to expunge your record after a ‘not guilty’ verdict at trial.

Can any charge be expunged?

Yes, as long as the charge was dropped and you are otherwise eligible.

Can any charge be sealed?

There are certain crimes that if plead to are not eligible to be sealed.

How many times can I seal or expunge my record?

Just once. And that is only if you are eligible.

If I seal my record, will my case still show up on the clerk’s website?

No, as the clerk’s website is public record. Your criminal case will not show up anymore.

Does a sealing or expungement remove my mugshot from non-government websites?

No, unfortunately mugshots are not public records so the private entities that articles the mugshots are not covered by the judge’s sealing or expungement order.

Who is notified of my expungement?

Whoever your lawyer asks the court to notify. Usually the arresting agency, jail, state attorney’s office, probation, etc. Any government entity that would have a record of your arrest.

What’s the difference between a sealing and expungement?

For an expungement, the court orders that your court file be physically destroyed. For a sealing, the court does not order that your court file is to be physically destroyed, but instead made non-public. Both actions require the clerk remove all case information from their website. And criminal case files not resulting in a conviction are eventually destroyed. Therefore the practical advantages from an expungement and a sealing are very similar.

Can I seal my record?

You can seal your record if you were not convicted of the crime, have never previously sealed or expunged your record and if your crime is not on the sealing exclusion list if you received a withhold of adjudication.

If I seal my record, can I deny the fact I was ever arrested?

Yes, with very few limitations. Here is a list of the entities that are entitled be advised of a sealed or expunged record.

Files

What happens to my court file if I seal my record?

Your case is removed from the clerk’s website, from FDLE records and all public records. A court order is placed in your court file that makes it not available to the public.

Can I seal more than one crime?

No, Florida law only allows one sealing (with a juvenile administrative expungement being the lone exception).

If I win at trial, can I expunge my record?

No, for some reason Florida law does not allow you to expunge your record after a ‘not guilty’ verdict at trial.

Can any charge be expunged?

Yes, as long as the charge was dropped and you are otherwise eligible.

Can any charge be sealed?

There are certain crimes that if plead to are not eligible to be sealed.

How many times can I seal or expunge my record?

Just once. And that is only if you are eligible.

If I seal my record, will my case still show up on the clerk’s website?

No, as the clerk’s website is public record. Your criminal case will not show up anymore.

Does a sealing or expungement remove my mugshot from non-government websites?

No, unfortunately mugshots are not public records so the private entities that articles the mugshots are not covered by the judge’s sealing or expungement order.

Who is notified of my expungement?

Whoever your lawyer asks the court to notify. Usually the arresting agency, jail, state attorney’s office, probation, etc. Any government entity that would have a record of your arrest.

Print Friendly