Sealing and Expunging
Expunging your record is a critical next step after your case concludes to remove all evidence of the arrest/notice to appear and the information available to the general public. As your Sealing and Expunging/Expungement Attorney in Tampa, Florida, we specialize in sealing or, if you qualify, expunging your record.
As lawyers we are often asked the question: does my record qualify for expunction? Basically, if you completed the Misdemeanor Intervention Program (MIP) or the Pre-trial Intervention Program (PTI) and the case was dismissed you most likely can expunge your record. Also, if you received a withhold of adjudication (no conviction) on a misdemeanor or third degree felony you may qualify for sealing your record. One caveat is that you cannot expunge or seal a traffic offense such as DUI since it requires a mandatory conviction in the state of Florida.
As a general rule in Hillsborough County: if you are a first time offend and commit a non traffic misdemeanor or third degree felony we can expunge your record. There are exceptions to this rule but it should off you a general guidance. Contact an experienced attorney who handles expungements today to see if your case qualifies.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) controls the sealing and expungement process in Florida. The difference between sealing and expunging are as follows. Sealing your record puts it on a restricted access basis available to only certain agencies. Expunging your record removes everything.
After your record is sealed or expunged you may legally deny that you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime if asked by an employer, landlord, or other agency. However, there are a few circumstances where you have to notify the person or agency of the charges.
The following are examples where you have to disclose that your case was sealed or expunged:
- If you are applying to work in a criminal justice agency;
- You are charged with another crime;
- If you petition for relief under Florida Statute 943.0585;
- Various other governmental agencies that deal with more vulnerable members of the community;
- Applying to work for the Department of Education or any other facility that deals with child care services;
- If you intend on purchasing a gun from a licensed importer.
As you can tell there are rare circumstances where you have to disclose that your record was sealed or expunged. In most cases, you never your expunged record is history and you never have to mention it again.
Some reasons why FDLE may deny your application for a certificate of eligibility are as follows:
- You were convicted of the crime;
- You have already received a prior seal or expunction;
- The crime does not qualify for sealing or expunction;
- You have a pending petition to seal or expunge your record;
- You are still on probation or on supervision or your case has not been dismissed yet.
For more information on the sealing and expunging process in Tampa contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney today at 813-444-3912 for a free consultation to see if your case qualifies for sealing or expunging. If your case does not qualify we will let you know at no cost. In the event it does qualify, we have a flat fee for the expunging process and we have payment plans available upon request.