What Cannot Be Sealed Expunged In Florida
Why You Can't Seal Or Expunge That Criminal Record In Florida
Last Updated: January 12, 2015
The FDLE has a comprehensive list of what can and cannot be sealed under the Florida Sealing Statute (section 943.059, Florida Statutes). This is where you should look to be absolutely convinced.
Why You Cannot Have Your Record Sealed Or Expunged
Here is a quick list of why, despite all your desires, you cannot seal or expunge your Florida criminal record:
- You have been convicted of a criminal offense (anywhere).
- You have already sealed or expunged a criminal record in Florida.
- FOR EXPUNGEMENT: Your case was not dropped/dismissed.
- FOR SEALING: Your case resulted in a withhold but is prohibited by statute (see FDLE link above).
You Have A Prior Conviction
Under Florida law any conviction for a criminal offense bars you from ever sealing or expunging a criminal record (except if you were the victim of human trafficking). Let me repeat this - IF YOU WERE EVER CONVICTION OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE = not eligible. Be careful, in Florida being found guilty does not mean you were necessarily convicted. See the difference between a conviction and a withhold here.
You Already Have Sealed Or Expunged A Criminal Record IN FLORIDA
If you have previously sealed or expunged a criminal record in another state don't worry about it. Florida is only concerned with prior sealings or expungements in the state of Florida. If you have already had a criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida you cannot do it again. Florida allows only one sealing or expungement per lifetime. The only exception is if you have a qualified juvenile expungement done. Those do not count towards your one chance to seal or expunge a criminal record in Florida.
Expungement Means Your Case Was Dropped
You can expunge a case only if it was dropped or dismissed prior to a trial. If it was not then it will not qualify to be expunged. But see SEALING.
Sealing Means You Received a Withhold AND You Charge Is Not Prohibited
You received a withhold of adjudication and now you want to seal your criminal record. Under Florida Law you can do this so long as your case is not:
- Robbery (any type of robbery)
- Burglary of a Dwelling (only the Dwelling variant)
- Aggravated Battery
- Aggravated Assault
- Scheme To Defraud
- Sexual Battery
- Lewd and Lascivious Act
- (See FDLE link above for ALL prohibited acts because this is not all of them)
Remember: DROPPED CASES CAN BE EXPUNGED
Don't be confused by FDLE's website - any offense can be expunged if the case was dropped/dismissed and you otherwise qualify.
Think of it in these terms:
- If your case was not dropped you may be able to seal it. Click on the link above to make sure it is not a prohibited offense. If it is on that list it cannot be sealed.
- If your case was dropped (dismissed) then forget the link above - the only thing that we have to check is if you have ever been convicted of another offense.
Remember, Even a Murder Charge Is Eligible To Be Expunged If The Case Was Dropped (and you otherwise qualify)
I cannot emphasis this any more. Cases prohibited from being sealed are only prohibited because there was a finding of guilt in the case. If the case was dropped/dismissed then there was no finding of guilt and you would be seeking an expungement, not a sealing.
Do You Need An Attorney To Seal Or Expunge Your Record - Yes
You can try and do it on your own however I will suggest you hire someone that knows what they are doing. Go to my do you need an expungement attorney webpage for more informtaion.
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