Expunge Your Record

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Florida, regardless of locale, a public record will be maintained and kept in an active status or in an archive for quite some time. This protocol is followed in every clerk of court in every county in Florida. This protocol means records of your past can be reviewed and will always work to your detriment. Whether you are applying for a job, trying to get a loan, or looking for an apartment, your criminal history will always and forever raise an eyebrow for anyone acting as a gate keeper to something you want. Don’t allow this to happen if you don’t have to. Every week our Tampa expungement lawyers talk to individuals charged with anything from reckless driving to possession of marijuana and need their record cleared. If they’ve been fortunate enough to complete a diversion program leading to their case being dismissed or have had their record sealed for at least ten years, our attorneys can file for an expungement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Are You Eligible for an Expungement?

In order to have your record expunged in Tampa, the following must be applicable to your case:

  1. You either had your case dismissed or completed a diversion program or have had your record sealed for at least 10 years.

  2. You must have no Adjudications of Guilt on your record for any criminal offense in any State.

  3. You must have never applied for a record sealing or expungement prior in any State.

  4. Your crime is one listed in Florida Statute 907.041 (Most Sex Crimes and Violent Crimes).
What is the Difference Between a Sealing and Expungement?

Our Tampa criminal attorneys hear this question all the time. It’s a great question and the best way a Tampa criminal lawyer can explain the difference is that when a record is sealed the public will not have access to it at all. However, those governmental entities listed in Florida Statute 943.059(4)(a) will have access to a sealed record in its entirety. When a record is expunged those same entities that have access to a sealed record will be told that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but they cannot access the record without petitioning a Court and receiving a Court Order. Without petitioning a Court they would merely receive a caveat statement stating, “criminal information has been expunged from this record.” So, what’s the practical benefit? Unless you’re applying to a governmental agency if your record is sealed or expunged the entity applied to won’t know about your record. If you are applying to a government agency they’ll know your record has been expunged but nothing further unless they take the painstaking effort of petitioning the Court. Essentially this is your bite at the apple to put your past behind you, something invaluable in this economy.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement are very strict in their requirements when applying for an expungement. Each Tampa expungement attorney in our firm has filed numerous applications for expunction and petition for expungements. We know exactly what the requirements are and what is necessary for an Order to Expunge. Because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement generally is 6 months behind in processing applications, it is imperative to not lose time in your process by making a mistake. Our attorneys are available to ensure that doesn’t happen. Contact us to see if your record is eligible to be expunged at 813-444-7435.