Expunge or Seal My Florida Record:
What Will Disqualify Me
or Make Me Not Eligible?
You will be disqualified from sealing or expunging your Florida
criminal record, if you do not meet all of the eligiblity requirements in Florida law, for the
regular seal and expungement process
in Sections 943.0585 - 943.059, Florida Statutes.
First five eligibility questions
Below is a list of five questions you can use to get started
in finding out if you are eligible to seal or expunge your Florida criminal record.
These questions represent 5 key eligibility factors from the seal and expungement laws
in Florida. They are referred to by the Holmes Law Firm as the
If you answer "Yes" to any of
the five questions below, you are automatically not eligible to seal or expunge your
Florida record at this time.*
- Have you ever had a criminal history record sealed
- Are you currently serving probation or under other court
for any of the charges related to the record you want to seal or expunge?
- 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 adjudicated delinquent (as a minor)
for any of the charges
related to the record you want to seal or expunge?
- Were you ever adjudicated delinquent (as a minor)
for any felony or for any of the below-listed misdemeanors
(as specified in s. 943.051(3)(b), Florida Statutes)?
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));
Allow minor to obtain firearm who takes it to school property (s. 790.115(2)(c)2.); or
Unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs (s.790.1615(1)).
You can ask the expungement attorney for a
Review of your eligibility.
*More information about the above factors
If you are not sure if you have ever been adjudicated guilty of any
criminal offense, read more about "adjudicated guilty"
and about reviewing your overall criminal history to determine your eligibility.
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, unfortunately,
with the possible exceptions noted below, you are not eligible under
Florida law to have your record sealed or expunged at this time. Depending on
the factor and your situation, you may become eligible in the future.
If you answered "Yes" to question 1, 3, or 5, you cannot
seal or expunge any nonjudicial Florida
criminal history record, using the regular seal and expungement process,
except as noted below.
If you are currently serving probation for any of the charges related
to the record you want to seal, the law requires that you wait
to apply to seal your record until you have completed probation
or other court supervision for all charges related to record you want sealed.
You also have to meet all the other eligibility requirements.
(You might want to find out if you can terminate your probation early.)
If you had a conviction (adjudication of guilt) or an adjudication of delinquency
overturned by a court on appeal, and the final disposition of your case was
something other than "guilty" or "delinquent", you should review all the other factors
related to eligibility and consult with an attorney. Depending your
overall situation, you may find that you are eligible to seal or expunge
your record; but, you will need to consider other factors which might impact the
final review process in court.
The first question above may not apply to you,
if you are trying to expunge a Florida record that you have had sealed for
10 years, based on statutory requirements. If this is your situation, you should review
the additional eligibility factors for expungement, because you must be eligible to expunge
the record under current legal requirements.
The first question may also not apply to you,
if you had a criminal history record sealed or expunged under another provision of law,
such as administrative expungement or
juvenile diversion expungement.
If you are not eligible to seal or expunge your record at this time,
you may wish to discuss your situation with an attorney, to see if there is
anything that can be done to change your situation and ineligibility.
Read more about "What Can I Do If I Am Not Eligible to Seal or Expunge My Record?
If you are eligible so far, after answering the 5 questions above, continue
reading about eligibility in the sections below. You will find
additional factors for determining your overall eligibility to seal or expunge your
Florida record, using the
regular seal and expungement process.
Review the additional disqualifying factors under paragraphs #4 and #7 below,
and the factors in the section below titled, "Some additional requirements for expungement".
General Eligibility Factors
Why FDLE Will Deny Your Application
for a Certificate of Eligibility to Seal or Expunge Your Record
The state agency that will review your application for a certificate of eligibility
to seal or expunge your Florida criminal history record is the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement (FDLE). The information below is provided by FDLE, on its website, to help
people understand the reasons why it will deny a person's application. The information is
based on the requirements and restrictions for the
seal and expungement processes in Florida law - Sections 943.0585 and 943.059,
FDLE will deny your application for a certificate of eligibility in the
below circumstances because, if the factors apply to you and your overall
criminal history record, you will not be eligible to seal or expunge your
If you answered "No" to the 5 questions listed above, you
need to review additional eligibility factors in paragraphs #4 and #7 below, and in the section below,
"Some additional requirements for expungement".
FDLE cannot issue a certificate of eligibility to seal or expunge a Florida
criminal history record under any of the following circumstances:
"1. The criminal history record reflects that you have been adjudicated
guilty [as an adult] of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation or adjudicated
delinquent [as a juvenile] for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in
s. 943.051(3)b. Certain driving violations are classified as criminal,
such as DUI, reckless driving, and (with some exceptions) driving while
license is suspended/canceled/revoked..."
"...2. The criminal history record reflects that you have been adjudicated
guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing one or more of the acts
stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application
3. The criminal history record reflects that you have received a prior
sealing or expungement of a criminal history record under s. 943.0585,
s. 943.059, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, former s. 943.058, or
from any jurisdiction outside the state.
4. The criminal history record to which the application [for a certificate
of eligibility] pertains relates to a violation of s. 393.135, s. 394.4593,
s. 787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 810.14, s. 817.034,
s. 825.1025, s. 827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135,
s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, s. 916.1075 a violation enumerated in
s. 907.041, or a violation of any offense qualifying for registration
as a sexual predator under s. 775.21 or for registration as a sexual offender
under s. 943.0435, F.S., with a finding of guilt, or a plea or guilty or nolo
contendere (without regard to whether adjudication was withheld)..."
"..5. The criminal history record reflects that you have another petition
to seal or expunge pending before a court or competent jurisdiction.
6. The criminal history record reflects that the court supervision
applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal activity
to which the application pertains has not been completed.
7.[For expungement only] The criminal history
record reflects that some or all of the charges related to the arrest or
criminal activity to which the application pertains were not dismissed
prior to trial, adjudication, or the withholding of adjudication. If no other
disqualification applies, the record would be eligible to be sealed.
PLEASE NOTE: The Governor and Cabinet of Florida, acting in the capacity
of the Board of Executive Clemency, declared on June 10, 1999, that the
granting of a full pardon does not remove any condition of ineligibility
for sealing or expunging a criminal history record which would otherwise
be imposed by a conviction or withholding of adjudication pursuant to
Sections 943.0585 and 943.059, Florida Statutes, and, acting in the
capacity of agency head of the Department of Law Enforcement, the Board
directed FDLE to deny a Certificate of Eligibility to any person receiving
a pardon who is otherwise ineligible for the sealing or expunging of the
person's criminal history record."
Some additional requirements for expungement
In addition to the above circumstances, if you want to expunge
your Florida record, FDLE will not be able to issue you a certificate of
eligibility to expunge your record if you did not first obtain a review
of your application and eligibility by the appropriate State Attorney's Office or
Statewide Prosecutor's Office.
Florida law requires the State Attorney/Statewide Prosecutor's (SAO)
office to provide a certification about certain information related to
your eligibility to expunge your record. This certification is included
as part of the state application. (This certification is not required if
you only want to seal your record.) Some factors only for expunge
eligibility relate to the final disposition of the charges:
a) an indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or
issued in the criminal case related to the record you want to expunge;
or b) an indictment, information or other charging document, if filed or
issued in the case related to the record you want to expunge, was dismissed
or nolle prosequi by the state attorney/statewide prosecutor, or was dismissed
by a court of competent jurisdiction; or c) none of the charges related to the
criminal history record you want to expunge resulted in an adjudication
of guilt or delinquency and the record has been sealed for ten years.
TIP: If any of the charges related to the record you want to expunge
has a final disposition of "guilty" or "adjudication withheld", you will
not be eligible to expunge the record. However, if the final disposition of
every charge related to the record you want to expunge
was "dismissed", "nolle prossed", or "no file/no info/no indictment", and
you have met all the other eligibility requirements, this should help you
clear a big hurdle on your way to expunging your record!
TIP: If you owe any court fees, penalties, fines, etc., you may not be able
to file your petition or obtain a court order to seal or expunge your record
until you have paid or otherwise resolved what you owe - even if you are eligible
under the statute and obtain a certificate of eligibility from FDLE.
Review Juvenile Diversion Expungement
if the record you want to
seal or expunge is a juvenile record and if you participated in a prearrest
or postarrest diversion program. You may be eligible to use that process, instead.
There are several advantages to that process.
Request a review of your eligibility for Juvenile Diversion Expungement.
It includes a FREE Online Prescreening.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is the state agency that
is required to review all applications for certificates of eligibility to seal
or expunge Florida criminal history records.
The attorney for the Holmes Law Firm was a staff attorney at FDLE for over
Attorney Holmes has addressed multiple legal issues which can impact
eligibility to seal or expunge a Florida record or a court's review of a
petition for an order to seal or expunge a record.
Attorney Holmes can help you work through the maze of these
eligibility factors as well as several other seal and expunge issues
that might impact your decision to apply to have your Florida criminal
history record sealed or expunged.
Request a Eligibility Review by the Firm's attorney.