Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

Criminal Record Expungements/Sealings, Traffic Defense.

733 West Colonial Drive, Orlando 32801 - 407-841-5555

Do You Need A Florida Expungement Lawyer

We Can Save You Time And Money

Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service

Last Updated: August 21, 2016

Do You Need A Lawyer To Seal or Expunge Your Florida Record

Do you need an lawyer? This is the first thing you think about when you decide to seal or expunge your record. You should consider the following:

  • There is a lot of information posted on the web about this procedure.
  • A lot of the information on the web is from the Clerk of Court and the State Attorney's Office of various counties.
  • The F.D.L.E. also has a lot of information on their website concerning the expunging or sealing of criminal arrest records.
  • None of the above-named entities can legally assist you in this endeavor.
  • The State Attorney's Office represents the entity opposing you in court.
  • Time to completion is usually an issue.
  • I have had to correct many mistakes for people trying to do this on their own.
  • An appeal of a denial is extremely expensive.

What Can The Public Defender Do

You may have been represented by the public defender when you resolved your criminal case. However, the Public Defender's office cannot assist in the sealing or expungement of criminal records.

AGO 95-45, July 14, 1995: Public Defender can't represent indigent re seal & expunge - Section 27.51, Florida Statutes, does not authorize a public defender to represent an indigent person for the purpose of a Motion to Expunge or Seal the indigent's criminal records, regardless of whether the public defender may have previously been appointed to represent the individual.

Knowing If You Can Expunge Or Seal Your Arrest Record

The first thing we do is try to determine if you qualify to have your criminal record expunged/sealed. There is no need to try or pay someone to try if it is apparent you do not qualify. If you can have this done you need to know whether you can first expunge it or if you must first seal it. Distinguishing between the two at the beginning will save you a lot of time.

Expunging Or Sealing An Arrest Record Correctly

Once it is determine that you can expunge or seal your criminal arrest record (See if you qualify) all you have to do is tell us to get it started. This will save you time, money and you won't have to worry about trying to do it yourself.

Things People Don't Think About

The Difference Between Expunging Or Sealing A Record

Most people don't understand that there is an actual difference between expunging and sealing a record. Trying to get an expungement when you only qualify for a sealing usually results in frustration.

The Criminal Procedure Of Expunging/Sealing An Arrest Record

Once you get past F.D.L.E. you now have to petition the court for relief. Most non-lawyers who try this forget something or incorrectly file the documents. Objections and orders denying relief are often the cause of frustration and confusion.

If FDLE Denies Your Request To Expunge Or Seal Your Record

If F.D.L.E. denies your request it will not explain in detail why you were denied and it does not advise you of how to correct your error (if it is an error).

Mistakes Made When Expunging Or Sealing A Record

Many non-lawyers and some lawyers make mistakes when they expunge or seal a record. Once an order is signed granting a sealing or expungement your one time use of this benefit is gone. Trying to go back and correct it is more expensive and may be impossible.

Contact Us For More Information

In my experience, the of sealing and expunging of criminal records is not for novices. We hire plumbers to fix plumbing issues, mechanics to fix engine issues - why not hire a lawyer to fix legal issues. The next question is how much will it cost?

Still have questions? Give us a call at (407) 434-1858 M-F 9am-5pm or email me at ejdirga@ejdirga.com. I answered many commonly asked questions on my Frequently Asked Expungement Questions page also.



Corrections/Errors; Questions

The purpose of publishing this information is to help judges, attorneys and non-lawyers better understand this area of law. We appreciate any input that may further this goal.

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