Expungement is a process that differs from state to state. In the state of Florida, expungement laws are detailed in § 943.0585 of the Florida Statutes. While in some states expungement or "expunction" is available to those who have been convicted of a criminal offense, Florida only allows those who have not been adjudicated guilty of a crime to apply for expunction. A person also only has one opportunity to expunge their criminal record in the state of Florida. Before petitioning for expunction, a person must apply for a certificate of eligibility for expunction according to subsection 2 of the Florida expunction statutes. Once this certificate is obtained, a person has 12 months within which they can petition to expunge their criminal record.
The Florida Statutes list approximately ten qualification standards (§ 943.0585(2)):
- You must obtain a written and certified statement from a state attorney or prosecutor stating that an indictment or other charging document was not issued in the case you are trying to expunge.
- You must obtain a written and certified statement stating that an indictment, if filed, was dismissed and that no trial resulted from the charges.
- You must obtain a written and certified statement stating that the criminal history you are trying to expunge does not involve sexual predator crimes.
- You must pay a $75 processing fee, unless otherwise waived.
- You must submit a certified copy of the nature of your charges that you are trying to have expunged.
- You must never have been declared guilty of a crime, felony or misdemeanor.
- You must never have been declared guilty of any criminal activity that led to your arrest.
- You will not qualify for expunction if you have previously had your criminal record sealed… "unless expunction is sought of a criminal history record previously sealed for 10 years (§ 943.0585(2)(f)."
- You may not currently be under the court's supervision if you are applying for expungement.
- You may not have previously obtained an expunction for § 893.14, § 901.33 or § 943.058.
If you would like to learn more about qualifying and how you can apply, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.