WHAT is expunction and sealing?

Expunction or sealing is the legal process of making a criminal charge inaccessible to the public. When a record is sealed, certain governmental or related organizations will still have access to the individual’s record in its entirety. When a record is expunged, these same entities will be informed that a charge in the record has been expunged, but will not have access to information about the charge without a court order.

WHO can have a record expunged or sealed?

Any adult or juvenile may have a criminal history record expunged or sealed if he or she:

Has never been found guilty of any criminal offense in any jurisdiction.
Has never been found delinquent for any felony or certain misdemeanors
Has not been found guilty of or delinquent for any of the acts stemming from the arrest that he or she seeks to expunge or seal.
Has never before had a criminal charge expunged or sealed.

HOW can I get my record expunged or sealed?

First, apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and submit a processing fee of $75. The application can be found www.fdle.state.fl.us/cms/Seal-and-Expunge-Process/Documents/Seal-and-Expunge-Application_Revised-06152010.aspx
or you can Seal-Expunge@fdle.state.fl.us to have a paper copy mailed to you.
After being issued a Certificate of Eligibility, you must file a petition with the court.

WHERE do I mail my application for a Certificate of Eligibility?

Florida Department of Law Enforcement
ATTN: Expunge/Seal Section
P.O. Box 1489
Tallahassee, Florida 32302-1489

WHEN is my record expunged or sealed?

The issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility, which may take over 90 days to process, is only the first step in the expunction or sealing process. The process is complete once a court issues an order expunging or sealing your criminal history record and the FDLE has received a certified copy of the order.

WHY should I get my record expunged or sealed?

A criminal history record can affect your ability to find a job, attend an institution of higher education, or sign a lease for housing.
For more information, please click http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/cms/Seal-and-Expunge-Process/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx