Can I seal my criminal record in Florida?
Updated: Apr 12
Getting arrested is a terrible experience for anyone, whether it is your first time or you've been there before. While you may want to put that trauma behind you and forget all about it, the record of your arrest will follow you around. A criminal record doesn't just disappear over time and it may impact your life for years to come. Potential employers, landlords, banks considering loaning you money for a car or mortgage, and even non-profit volunteer organizations often run background checks and in most situations, sealing your record will allow you to deny the arrest ever happened.
Take the next steps to protect your future.
When a person has resolved their criminal case, either with a plea or in a trial, and the Judge has withheld adjudication, you may be eligible to seal the arrest records. Under Florida law, an adjudication is a conviction and when a Judge withholds adjudication, that means you aren't considered convicted of that crime. If you have been adjudicated of committing any crime in the State of Florida, you are ineligible to seal your record. What if you only have a juvenile record? Being adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for committing any felony or certain serious misdemeanors will exclude you from sealing your record. Fortunately, many juvenile crimes are automatically expunged at 21 years old (some not until 26 years old) and once those are gone, your adult arrests may become eligible for sealing. But what if you were convicted in another state or by the federal government? Then those don't count against you, only Florida convictions will make you ineligible for sealing.
Are there any other restrictions?
There is a long list of specific crimes that are ineligible for sealing even if the Judge withheld adjudication here. You can only seal one arrest in your entire lifetime so make it count. What if you're still on probation? You have to have completed all of your sentence to seal your record. That means you are completely done with incarceration, probation, paying restitution, fines and costs.
Sealing your record can be a complicated and long process that can be made easier by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. Seth Hyman Law ( http://www.sethhymanlaw.com ) exclusively provides legal assistance in criminal, DUI, and driving offense cases throughout Central Florida. Additionally, we handle sealing and expungements. Call 407-274-7501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.