At Anton Castro Law in Tampa, our criminal record lawyers realize that if you have ever been arrested for a crime in Florida, you have a criminal record. This means, even if the charges were dropped or not filed by the State Attorney, you still have a criminal background. Hiring an attorney experienced with criminal record law is crucial. A criminal background can follow you forever and can have serious consequences on your future. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. Under Florida law, you may be able to have your record sealed or expunged.
Let Us Help You Get Your Criminal Record Sealed or Expunged
Sealing or expunging your criminal record prevents most private employers from viewing your criminal background. Pursuant to Florida Statute 943.045, your criminal history record is preserved, but it is inaccessible to the public. Once you seal your criminal background, only people the proper legal authority can access it. Once you expunge your criminal record, the Florida court orders that it be destroyed. Only the Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps a copy of your record when it is expunged. Hiring Anton Castro Law to assist you in this complex process is the first step in the right direction.
Florida Criminal Record Sealing Requirements
- The Florida case did not result in a Florida criminal conviction. Either the Florida conviction was withheld (withhold adjudication) or the Florida criminal defendant was acquitted after a trial (found not guilty).
- You have never been convicted of a criminal offense (felony, misdemeanor, and certain driving offenses) or adjudicated delinquent for a criminal offense listed in Florida Statute Sections 943.051.
- You have never had your criminal record expunged or sealed before (in Florida or any other state).
- There are certain charges that may not be sealed. For a list of Florida’s disqualifying charges, see Florida Statute Section 907.041.
- You must go through Florida’s Criminal Record Sealing Process.
If you have your Florida Criminal record sealed, our lawyers may be able to expunge your Florida Criminal record later. To expunge a withheld conviction or acquittal in Florida, you must have your Florida Criminal record sealed for 10 years prior to expunging your Florida criminal background.
Florida’s Procedure to Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record
In order to seal or expunge a criminal record in Florida, you must go through Florida’s Criminal Record Sealing or Expunging Process:
- Apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a Certificate of Eligibility. To determine if you are eligible for this certificate, you may want to obtain a Florida Criminal Background Check through the Florida Department of Law enforcement.
- If the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issues the Certificate of Eligibility, you will need to file a petition, affidavit, order, Certificate of Eligibility, and any other required documents with the court to obtain the Florida record seal or to expunge your Florida criminal record.
- Once the Florida judge signs the order sealing the Florida criminal history or expunging the Florida criminal record, the Florida Order to Seal or the Florida Order to Expunge the Criminal Record must be sent to the agencies that have the Florida criminal record.
- Note: In some Florida record sealing cases, there will be a hearing on the petition to seal or expunge the Florida criminal history, but this is not the normal procedure for sealing a Florida criminal record.
If you are interested in having a criminal record sealed or expunged, contact Anton Castro Law’s criminal record attorney. We understand the importance of your privacy, and your desire to prevent others from viewing your criminal record. Call Attorney John S. Castro at Anton Castro Law in Tampa at (813) 907-9807 or request a free consultation.