Expungement of a Florida Record:
4 Questions to Determine Eligibility
To expunge your Florida criminal record, you must be eligible under
Florida law. There are 4 main requirements for expungement eligibility in Section 943.0585, Florida Statutes.
To find out if you meet these eligibility requirements, answer the 4 questions below.
Your answer must be "No" to the first 3 questions, and "Yes"
to the last one, or you are not eligible to expunge your Florida record.
- Have you ever had a criminal history record sealed or expunged?*
- Have you ever been adjudicated guilty (as an adult) of any crime, including any violation of a
criminal traffic law or a criminal city/county ordinance?
- Were you ever adjudicated delinquent (as a minor) for any of the following:
a) Any felony; or
b) Any of the following misdemeanors (as specified in
s. 943.051(3)(b), Florida Statutes):
- Arson (s. 805.031(1))
- Assault (s. 784.011)
- Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or other
specified officers (s. 784.07(2)(a)-(b))
- Battery (s. 784.03)
- Carrying a concealed weapon (s. 790.01(1))
- Cruelty to animals (s. 828.12(1))
- Exposure of sexual organs (s. 800.03)
- Negligent treatment of children (former s. 827.05)
- Open carrying of a weapon (s. 790.053)
- Petit theft (s. 812.014(3))
- Unlawful possession of a firearm (s. 790.22(5))
- Allowing a minor to obtain firearm who takes it to school property
- Unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs (s. 790.1615(1))
- In the record you want to expunge, were all charges dismissed or nolle prossed OR were no charges
filed at all?
If you have determined that you are eligible for expungement of your Florida record, you should consider
a few additional things which can impact your ability to have your record expunged:
- If you have any outstanding court-ordered fines, costs, or restitution, the Clerk of Court may not permit
you to file your petition for expungement, or the Clerk may not process your petition, until you have paid or
otherwise resolved those financial obligations; and
- A court may consider factors other than your eligibility under the statutory requirements, when it reviews
your petition for expungement. Sometimes objections are raised to a petition based on different factors.
The court must follow guidelines when ultimately ruling. However, you should consider discussing your case
with an attorney who is familiar with the expungement process and law if you have another criminal case
pending when you start the application process, when you plan to file your petition, or when your petition is
under review; if the charges in your case involved domestic violence or a crime against a child; if the charges
or circumstances involved in your case were serious, even if the charges were dropped; or if you have multiple
*Note: There are a few circumstances in which you may be eligible to expunge your record even if you
answered “Yes” to question 1 above. If you were eligible to seal your Florida record 10 years
ago, and you have had it sealed for 10 years since that time, you should be eligible to apply to have that
record expunged, if you still meet the other eligibility requirements. If you had a record sealed or expunged
in another state, using a process which is different than the one used in Florida, i.e., a process which you
did not initiate and/or which did not require an application and a court order, you may be eligible to expunge
your Florida record, if you meet the other eligibility requirements.
If you have determined that you are eligible and want to move forward to expunge your Florida criminal
record, you can begin the next step in the expungement process: applying for a Certificate of Eligibility.
You can get some help with the application process or you can apply on your own with forms available
from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the Clerk of Court in the county where your
record is located, or in a
Do-It-Yourself Expungement Kit.
If you are not eligible to expunge your record, you might qualify to
seal it using the process in Section 943.059, Florida Statutes. You can read about
the disqualifying crimes or
the fast five eligibility list; or you can
request an eligibility review.