Expunction of a Criminal Record
A court may order a criminal record to be expunged. “Expunction of a criminal history record” is defined in s. 943.045(16), F.S.
If you are interested in sealing or expunging a criminal record, then contact an attorney at Hubbs Law in Miami, FL.
Call (305) 615-5945
to discuss your case today.
Steps to Expunge a Criminal Record in Miami, FL
To expunge the record, your attorney will first help you obtain a valid certificate of eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). To obtain the certificate of eligibility, your attorney will help you provide the following documents to FDLE:
- A written, certified statement from the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor that:
- An indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or issued in the case.
- An indictment, information, or other charging document, if filed or issued in the case, was dismissed or dropped by the state attorney or the court, and that none of the charges resulted in a trial, without regard to whether the outcome of the trial was other than an adjudication of guilt.
- The applicant does not have a criminal history record relating to certain delineated offenses including:
- sexual misconduct;
- luring or enticing a child;
- sexual battery;
- lewd or lascivious offenses;
- violations of the Florida Communications Fraud Act;
- sexual performance by a child, offenses by public officers or employees, acts in connection with obscenity and minors;
- traveling to meet a minor;
- selling or buying of minors;
- drug trafficking;
- a pretrial detention violation, and
- any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator or sexual offender. Section 943.0585(2)(a)3., F.S.
- A $75 processing fee, unless it is waived; and
- A certified copy of the disposition of the charge as required in Section 943.0585(2)(a)-(c), F.S.
To be eligible to expunge the record, the person must also not:
- Before the date the application for a certificate of eligibility is filed, have been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b), F.S. which include:
- carrying a concealed weapon;
- unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs;
- neglect of a child;
- assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or certain other officers;
- open carry of a weapon;
- exposure of sexual organs;
- unlawful possession of a firearm;
- petit theft;
- cruelty to animals; arson; and
- unlawful possession or discharge of a weapon or firearm at a school-sponsored event or school property.
- Have been adjudicated guilty or delinquent of committing any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains;
- Be under court supervision for the arrest or crime to which the petition to expunge pertains;
- Have secured a prior sealing or expunction other than the required 10-year sealing for the offense sought to be expunged as explained in Section 943.0585(2)(d)-(g), F.S.; and
- Additionally, the person must have had the record sealed for at least 10 years by court order. The requirement for the record to have been sealed for 10 years does not apply if a plea was not entered or all charges related to the arrest or offense to which the petition to expunge pertains were dismissed before trial. Section 943.0585(2)(h), F.S.
After receiving the certificate of eligibility, the person must file a petition with the court to expunge the record. The petition must include a sworn statement attesting that he or she:
- Has never been adjudicated guilty of a crime or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b), F.S;
- Has never been adjudicated guilty of, or adjudicated delinquent for committing, any of the acts stemming from the arrest of alleged criminal activity to which the petition pertains;
- Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record unless the petition for expunction is for a criminal history record previously sealed for 10 years, provided the record is otherwise eligible for expunction; and
- Is eligible for such an expunction and does not have any other petition to expunge or petition to seal before any court.
Effect of an Expunction of a Criminal History Record
If the court grants a petition to expunge, several entities are required to forward copies of the expunction order to relevant persons or entities. The clerk of the court must provide the expunction order to the state attorney or statewide prosecutor, the arresting agency, and any entity that previously received the criminal history record from the court.
The arresting agency must provide the expunction order to any entity to which the agency previously disseminated the criminal history record information. Finally, the FDLE must provide the expunction order to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Section 943.0585(3), F.S.
Any criminal justice agency that has a record that is expunged must physically destroy or obliterate the record. The FDLE, however, must maintain the record. The record is protected as confidential and exempt from disclosure requirements under the public records laws under Section 943.0585(4), F.S.
A person who has had a record expunged may deny or fail to report the record, unless the person is:
- Seeking appointment as a guardian;
- A position with a criminal justice agency;
- A license by the Division of Insurance Agent and Agent Services of the Department of Financial Services, or
- A position with an agency which is responsible for the protection of vulnerable persons, including children, disabled persons, and elderly persons;
- A defendant in a criminal prosecution;
- Petitioning for an expunction of a criminal history record, or of an offense as a victim of human trafficking, or a sealing of a criminal history record; or
- Applying for admission to The Florida Bar.
This article was last updated on Friday, June 9, 2017.
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