Patriot Info Blog America What Charges Can Be Expunged in Florida

What Charges Can Be Expunged in Florida

What Charges Can Be Expunged in Florida?

In the state of Florida, individuals who have been charged with certain crimes may have the opportunity to have their criminal record expunged. Expungement is a legal process that allows for the removal and sealing of criminal records, providing individuals with a fresh start and a clean slate. However, it is important to understand that not all charges are eligible for expungement in Florida. This article will delve into the charges that can be expunged, the process of expungement, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Expungement Eligibility in Florida:

1. Juvenile Records: If you were charged with a crime as a minor, you may be eligible to have your juvenile record expunged. This includes certain misdemeanors and felonies, such as theft, drug possession, and assault. However, serious offenses like murder or sexual offenses are typically not eligible for expungement.

2. Arrests Without Conviction: If you were arrested for a crime but were not convicted, you may be eligible for expungement. This includes charges that were dropped, dismissed, or resulted in an acquittal. It is important to note that if you were convicted, even if the charges were later dropped, you may not be eligible for expungement.

3. Certain Misdemeanors: Some misdemeanor charges can be expunged in Florida if you meet certain criteria. These may include offenses such as simple assault, petty theft, trespassing, or disorderly conduct. However, more serious misdemeanors like domestic violence or DUI may not be eligible for expungement.

4. Sealing of Criminal Records: In addition to expungement, Florida also allows for the sealing of certain criminal records. This means that the records are not completely destroyed but are inaccessible to the public. Sealing is typically available for charges that do not qualify for expungement, such as certain drug offenses or driving with a suspended license.

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The Process of Expungement in Florida:

1. Eligibility Determination: The first step in the expungement process is determining if you are eligible. It is advised to consult with an attorney who specializes in criminal law to assess your eligibility and guide you through the process.

2. Petition for Expungement: If you are eligible, you will need to file a petition for expungement with the court in the county where the charges were filed. The petition must include specific information, such as the case number, date of arrest, and the charges involved.

3. Background Check and Investigation: Once the petition is filed, a background check and investigation will be conducted by law enforcement agencies and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This is to ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements and that there are no pending charges or convictions that would disqualify you.

4. Court Hearing: If all requirements are met, a court hearing will be scheduled. It is important to attend this hearing, as the judge will review your case and make a decision regarding the expungement.

5. Expungement Order: If the judge grants the expungement, an expungement order will be issued. This order is then sent to all relevant agencies, including law enforcement, the court, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, instructing them to seal and destroy the records.


Q: Can I expunge a felony conviction in Florida?
A: No, felony convictions are generally not eligible for expungement. However, you may explore other options such as applying for a pardon or clemency.

Q: How long does the expungement process take in Florida?
A: The expungement process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. It may take several months to complete.

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Q: Will expunging my record completely erase it?
A: Expungement removes the record from public view, but certain government agencies may still have access to sealed records for specific purposes.

Q: Can I expunge a DUI charge in Florida?
A: Typically, DUI charges cannot be expunged in Florida. However, it is advisable to consult an attorney to explore available options.

Q: Can I expunge my records myself or do I need an attorney?
A: While it is possible to handle the expungement process yourself, it is highly recommended to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to ensure all legal requirements are met.

In conclusion, expungement in Florida provides individuals with the opportunity to clear their criminal records and move forward with their lives. It is crucial to understand the charges that can be expunged and follow the proper legal procedures. Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable attorney is advisable to navigate through the complex expungement process successfully.

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