As a criminal lawyer, I’ve received hundreds of phone calls from good people inquiring about the possibility of sealing or expunging their criminal history. All so often that person on the phone has made a past mistake and desperately wants to move forward. Few joys as an attorney are as great as being able to help someone move forward and put the past in the past. Unfortunately the State of Florida doesn’t always make that process easy. In Florida we are limited in that you can only expunge or seal a case that has been dismissed, declined to be filed, or entered a plea and a Withhold of Adjudication was granted.
Adding to the challenge, if you have been Adjudicated Guilty of a criminal offense at any time or place, you are not eligible for a sealing or expungement in Florida. Further, there are offenses that Florida Statute dictates cannot be sealed or expunged despite receiving a Withhold of Adjudication.
Obtaining a record sealing or expungement requires a petition being put before the State Attorney’s office, seeking their approval. If you are statutorily eligible, this is almost always approved. Once approval is given, the petition is submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their review. Upon their approval we will file the petition before the appropriate Judge and move for an order of sealing or expungement, accompanied by a sworn affidavit by you. Because of the strict standards involved in the expungement and sealing process it is very important to hire an attorney experienced in this area. We want to help you move forward and away from a bruise on your criminal history. Contact a St Pete or Clearwater criminal lawyer today to inquire about your expungement or sealing eligibility.