Petition to Seal/Expunge
Sealing & Expunging Criminal Records in Florida
Florida Statute 943.059 gives Florida Courts the power to approve or deny requests to seal or expunge your criminal record. Before you can go to court to ask that your record be sealed, you must file a petition with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to determine if you qualify. If you do, FDLE will issue a certification of eligibility to you, which you will then need to supply to the State Attorney and the Court. However, before you go to court, the State Attorney needs to sign off on your eligibility. Gathering and completing the forms necessary can be both frustrating and confusing. Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Kaleita can help you determine if you qualify for sealing or expunging.
Having your criminal history sealed or expunged is always in your best interest. If your criminal history is officially sealed by the government, employers will not be able to see it during the background checks they complete. Neither will schools you apply to. In these difficult economic times, employers will always hire someone without a criminal record over someone with one. Having a criminal history is embarrassing, especially when it is the result of a stupid mistake made when you were a kid or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is never too late to see if these mistakes can be erased.
Sealing & Expunging in Florida - Eligibility
- If you have never been convicted of a crime (adjudicated guilty), it's likely that your record can be sealed.
- If you have been arrested and the State outright dropped the case, you might be eligible to have the case expunged.
- Even if you were sentenced, but formal adjudication was withheld, you might now be eligible to have the case sealed.
Sealing vs Expunging - Differences
The main difference between having your case expunged versus it being sealed, is when it is expunged the records of it are completely destroyed – if your case is sealed, the records will be maintained under seal, but they still cannot be seen by employers. But, there are certain crimes that can never be sealed or expunged – like sex offenses. Mr. Kaleita can help you examine your arrest and its disposition to see if you meet the requirements to seal your record. The law says, however, that you only get one chance to have your record sealed – once one arrest is sealed, if you get arrested again, your criminal record stands.
Mr. Kaleita can help you gather these documents and to obtain the FDLE and State Attorney certifications on your behalf and determine if it is wise to move forward with this action. It is important for you to seek competent and experienced representation when it comes to sealing your record – just because a case was dropped doesn't mean it is automatically dropped from your record! You must follow all of the law's requirements precisely to clear your record. Mr. Kaleita will work hard to get your request granted if you qualify.
Contact Seminole Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Kaleita
If you think you may qualify for sealing or expunging your Florida criminal record or if you are looking into this possibility for a person you care about, call previous Florida Prosecutor Jack Kaleita at (407) 831-7800 or at (866) 422-7934 for a free initial consultation. You may also send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you shortly. We value your privacy and will keep any information strictly confidential.