Have you ever been arrested or received a Notice to Appear in Florida? If so,  you have a criminal record, even if the case was abandoned or dropped.

There are serious negative consequences if you have a criminal record. It can prevent you from getting housing, from getting a job and countless other opportunities in life.

Your record could be removed with a Florida expungement or sealing, depending on the circumstances, and the nature of the offense. With an expunged record, to most searches (not all), it would appear that the arrest never occurred.

What Is A Florida Record Expungement

The function of expungement under the laws of  Florida is that a criminal record can be turned into a non-public record for almost anyone who was arrested or got a Notice to Appear. This procedure is very helpful in getting rid of the many obstacles that are associated with having a criminal record.

What does it mean to Seal or Expunge a Florida Arrest Record?

In Florida expungement and sealing a record does not simply make The record isn’t just made non-public, the law takes it a step further. The public records law in Florida is very expansive and it is a  no small task to make a record non-public. The benefit to you, if the circumstances support it, is that you can literally deny the arrest never happened.  Only under very specific circumstances would information about your arrest ever see the light of day again.

The actual expungement or sealing of your criminal record means that your arrest record moves from a public to non-public record. It doesn’t get rid of it everywhere. The  F.B.I and F.D.L.E keep confidential details of your arrest for historical and statistical purposes.  Your record can still be brought back out, but only to entities that are entitled to the information. Even so, there are still advantages to sealing or expunging your criminal record. Expungement is one of the country’s most extensive legal protections.

 

Here’s the actual law.

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, informations, or other criminal charges and the disposition thereof.

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