Mistaken Arrests Can Be Expunged
Last Updated: December 17, 2013
The administrative expungement process is less formal and less structured than a regular expungement. Because of this, administrative expungements are harder to predict. Administrative expungements address arrests that were made due to mistake.
Criminal records caused by mistaken arrests can be expunged (Authority: § 943.0581, Fla. Stat.). Do not confuse this type of criminal record expungement with one that addresses a dismissal or acquittal of the charges. That would be a regular expungement.
An administrative expungement deals strictly with arrests that were made due to error or mistake by the arresting agency not because the State could not prove the charges. These types of arrests are usually for mistaken identity. There is no limit on the number of administrative expungements you can get for these types of mistakes.
Two-part Expungement Process
An Administrative expungement only affects non-judicial records. This means that, if the arrest went on to be a criminal case in the courts, a separate request must be made to try and get the court records sealed.
When the Police Make the Mistake
Usually, people expunge prior criminal arrest records because they have made a mistake in their past - they committed a youthful mistake and want to move on. However, sometimes law enforcement makes the mistake. If you have been arrested by mistake (warrants for another person - same /misidentification/ etc.) you may be eligible for an administrative expungement of your criminal arrest record.
Administrative Expungements Are More Involved Than Regular Expungements
Administrative Expungements are not limited in number or by duration of time since arrest. However, administrative expungements are complicated and can take more time to complete than most people expect. Because each case is a subjective undertaking, there is no defined time limits on how long a petition for an administrative expunction can take.
An administrative expungement can originate from the arresting agency or the person who was arrested. Supporting endorsements must accompany the application.
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