How Much Does An Expungement Cost In Florida
Legal Fees and Costs For Sealing Or Expunging Your Criminal Record
Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service
Last Updated: May 21, 2015
I have been working with sealing and expunging criminal records since 1997. I keep all our costs to a minimum to provide the best service at the lowest price. I provide a service that, except for some initial paperwork, is completely handled by my office. This gives you the freedom to go on with your life knowing that your arrest record is being sealed or expunged properly.
Pre-Qualification Before You Pay Anything
Before we ask you for a legal fee we want to make sure you qualify to have your record sealed or expunged. By
qualifying we mean that the information we get from you and other sources meets the requirements to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.
You can find out if you qualify on our Do You Qualify page. It is to your benefit to know whether you qualify or not before you spend time and money on this. We make no guarantees that information we gather from any source is true and accurate.
How Much Is The Legal Fee To Expunge Criminal Record
Contact us for our current legal fee to seal or expunge your criminal record. We have payment plans and because the process takes between 6-9 months on average we can spread payments over that time frame.
The Initial Fee To Start
We ask for an initial fee to get you started. This covers our costs to get your Certificate of Eligibility from F.D.L.E. We try to make sure you have qualified to have the certificate issued before you hire us.
Second Payment 60 Days After We Begin
The next legal fee is due roughly 2 months after we begin. We decided to do this so that the final legal fee due when we receive your Certificate of Eligibility is less. Basically we split that fee into two payments.
Final Legal Fee Upon Receipt Of Your Certificate
Once you have obtained your Certificate of Eligibility we can then proceed to petition the court. This is when the final legal fee is due. Once we file it we must make sure no agency objects to your petition and if so address those objections at a hearing.
Is An Expungement Worth The Cost
Everyone who seeks an expungement usually asks themselves is it worth it. To determine if the expungement cost is worth it you have to consider what the benefits are after you have a criminal record expunged or sealed. I explain what should be considered on my The Benefits of Expunging Your Record page but you should remember that the cost to expunge or seal your record is a one time event. The benefits last forever.
How Much Are The Costs
There are a few costs that you will be responsible for as the process unfolds. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement requires a $75 processing fee when we submit the paperwork for your certificate of eligibility. This must be in the form of a money order made out to F.D.L.E. for $75. We will let you know when this is due or you can pay it in advance.
Notarization Costs and Fingerprint Costs
One of the first things that you will receive once you have hired us is a seal or expunge packet. This includes the three documents you need to have notarized and a fingerprint card that you must take to a law enforcement agency and have your fingerprints taken. You must pay for the notarization and fingerprint costs. If you are local we can do the notarizations for you for free.
Court costs are typically paid upon filing the petition or after the court has granted your criminal record expungement or sealing. This typically costs between $60-$100. If you still owe money in the underlying case (court costs, restitution, fines) these will have to be paid before the court will grant the petition. The court costs may be higher if the case involved co-defendants.
If a hearing is required there is a cost for travel depending on how far the travel will be. Our main office is in Orlando, a fairly centralized location for Florida, so we can usually keep travel costs down. Don't forget, often times the court does not require a hearing. No hearing, no costs.
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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