Expunging Criminal Records in Florida

A criminal record expungement, also known as an expunction, is when a court orders the criminal records related to your case to be physically destroyed.

As a result of this order, the courts, the prosecutor, and law enforcement agency must physically destroy or obliterate any physical or electronic records related to your case.

Nevertheless, under Florida law, one copy of your criminal record is retained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and can be disclosed on a limited basis to law enforcement.

Types of Expungements

There are several types of expungements allowed under Florida law.

Effect of an Expungement

After having your criminal record expunged, it is unavailable and unobtainable by the general public, future employers, or other inquiring entities.

However, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is authorized to disclose the existence, but not the contents, of a criminal history record that has been expunged if you are seeking employment, membership, or licensure with any of the following:

  1. A Criminal Justice Agency
  2. The Florida Bar
  3. The Department of Children and Family Services
  4. The Department of Juvenile Justice
  5. A contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children
  6. The Department of Education
  7. Any public or private school
  8. A local government agency that licenses child care facilities

Right to Deny

After having your record expunged, you are allowed to lawfully deny the arrest or conviction covered by the expungement.

Nevertheless, there are limited exceptions to this right to deny. You must acknowledge your arrest or conviction if you are:

  1. A candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
  2. A defendant in a criminal prosecution;
  3. Concurrently or subsequently petitioning for to have another unrelated criminal episode sealed or expunged ;
  4. A candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
  5. Seeking to be employed, licensed by, or contracted with:
    • The Department of Children and Family Services
    • The Department of Juvenile Justice
    • A sensitive position having direct contact with children
    • The Department of Education
    • Any public or private school
    • A local government agency that licenses child care facilities

Eligibility and Other Questions

To determine if you are eligible to petition the court to have your criminal records please visit the eligibility checklist.

Florida criminal expungement law is complicated and overlaps with Florida criminal sealing law. If you have further questions that still need answered, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

Please contact Orlando Expungement Lawyer Richard Hornsby if you already know you are eligible and would like to begin the expungement process.