What Are The Benefits Of An Expungement

When you have your record expunged or sealed in Florida, it means that:

  • Government offices like the Local Law Enforcement Agencies, the Clerk’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office will remove your record.
  • As per Florida law, your criminal record is no longer a Public Record.
  • Corporations or private citizens in the State of Florida will not have access to that record.
  • You will be able to legally deny that the arrest ever happened in most situations. (Note that there are exceptions.)

Expungements and sealings in Florida deal with criminal records. These start from the date of your arrest (Notices to Appear included). Driver’s license suspension or traffic tickets cannot be expunged from your record.

The Florida Attorney General has these definitions related to expungement.

AGO 75-29, February 12, 1975: Public records and the definition of expunge – Attorney General Opinion. Question whether the term expunge meant the literal destruction of records or removal of all references to the defendant and sealing of remaining record if needed in the future. Answer was that expunge meant physical destruction of records.

And:

AGO 2000-16, March 8, 2000: Criminal history records, expungement – Question: What information in a criminal history record is subject to expungement and to what extent must the record be obliterated or destroyed in order to satisfy the requirements of section 943.0585, Florida Statutes? The information that must be expunged is information maintained by the criminal justice agency identifiable to the individual’s arrest, detention, indictments, information, or other criminal charges and the disposition thereof.

 

Expungement or sealing of your criminal record signifies that your police arrest record goes from a public to non-public record. It will not make it disappear everywhere. The definitions by the  AGO notwithstanding, the F.B.I and F.D.L.E maintain private information of your police arrest for historic and statistical reasons. This also lands in the expectations of disclosure, the entitled entities. Even though there are exceptions to the depth of cleansing with an expungement, there are still obvious benefits to sealing or expunging your criminal record. Expungement is one of the country’s most comprehensive legal protections and is supported in Florida.

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