Exceptions To The Ability To Deny An Arrest
After The Record Has Been Sealed / Expunged
Last Updated: March 31, 2014
Once your criminal record has been sealed or expunged, the records with the:
- Clerks Office are no longer public. No one can access those records without a court order to do so.
- Criminal records held by Law Enforcement are also made confidential. If they are expunged they have to physically destroy their files. This includes the State Attorney's Office.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement removes it's criminal record information from public dissemination.
In Most Instances You Can Deny The Arrest Happened After Your Record Is Sealed / Expunged
Florida law allows you to deny that your expunged or sealed arrest ever occurred. The actual language of the statute is as follows:
[Expungement] The person who is the subject of a criminal history record that is expunged under this section or under other provisions of law . . . may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record.
[Sealing] The subject of a criminal history record sealed under this section or under other provisions of law . . . may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed record.
This is the biggest benefit of expunging or sealing your criminal arrest record. Many private companies collect public records (often times sold to them by the county clerk's office or F.D.L.E.) and sell them online. This can still occur after you have had your record expunged. The ability to lawfully deny the arrest gives you a huge advantage over those companies.
Exceptions From The Lawful Ability to Deny Your Arrest
However, there are exceptions when you can deny that you have been arrested. It is important to know these exceptions before you decide to seal or expunge your record and very important to know these after you have sealed or expunged your record. These mainly address employers for businesses that deal with children, the elderly, or the physically or mentally handicapped. These include Nursing Homes and Day Care Centers. It also includes applications for employment with a criminal justice agency including the fire department.
F.D.L.E. keeps this list updated on the Department's website. Visit this site often to stay abreast of any changes in the law.
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