expunging of records
Criminal Records

Clearing a Criminal Record in Florida

As it turns out, having your name in the state’s database for criminals can limit your ability to do some things and live happily ever after. Malefactor records could restrict a person’s capacity to find a good job or even get a decent place to live. The authorities may revoke a person’s legitimacy to vote or be voted for if they discover that a person has previous run-ins with the law. A malefactor record could also affect a person’s right to own a gun in the state. It could be pretty uncomfortable to live with such a stigma tied to your life. However, the good news is your malefactor past does not have to haunt you forever. You can apply to have malefactor records segregated from public access or deleted and live your life free of any daunting past. 

expunging of records

Taking away or deleting adult malefactor records in Florida is a straightforward undertaking that enables a person to delete or remove access to offender history documents. An individual may also block access to past law-breaking data. Blocking, in this instance, is the placement of a malefactor record under the protection of a court order. 

People often refer to blocking and erasing records as the same thing, but there is a distinction. If the record-keeping agency shuts your document, the populace won’t see it, but government agents can still access it. On the other hand, when the responsible agency expunges a file, it is eliminated that even state offices can no longer reach it without issuing an order from the court. Whether an offender’s file is deleted or blocked, both scenarios offer the same advantages: preventing the general populace from accessing the archives and protecting the beneficiary from exposure. 

 As much as this is achievable, expunging malefactor records is doable under certain conditions following the requirement that makes a file fit for expunction. 

What are the necessary procedures to erase or shut an offender file in Florida? 

For a person to legitimately block a crime file in Florida, they have to consider the next set of items:

· The interested person must clarify that they have not done this before. An applicant is automatically ineligible for file blocking or erasing if they have previously done so anywhere in Florida.

· The applicant has to confirm if the offense is not barred for sealing (check the Florida Statute 943.084 for a list of crimes that are exempt from expunction)

· You have never gotten a guilty verdict after a criminal case trial

· A shut malefactor file may be fit for expunction in ten years, in case the authorities previously disapproved it for expunction.

· A person cannot block or delete various arrest papers from different proceedings at different times.

· The record-keeping agency cannot delete a charge leading to a not guilty verdict after court proceedings until ten years.

· The agency will disqualify an application if the individual applying for file expunction is under legal surveillance for the same alleged malefactor case.

Record Sealing or Expunction for persons convicted of a crime

There is a long list of felonies that are not qualified for erasing or blocking under Florida Law. Suppose a person is found guilty of sex crimes such as rape or other sex crimes that lead to compulsory registration as a sex offender or violent crimes. In that case, such crimes do not qualify for deleting. Also in the list of crimes unqualified for deleting are crimes related to terrorism.

Expunging more than one record

Deleting more than one malefactor record for the same person in Florida will not be attainable. Florida Law permits the shutting or erasing of only one malefactor history in a person’s lifetime, assuming the person meets all the acceptable conditions. A sealing and expunction order will only affect one malefactor file for an offender with multiple cases.

How to apply for sealing or expunging of records

 Note that the first point of call towards getting an order from the court to block or erase a record is to apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The FDLE will then give a certificate granting legal standing to seal a malefactor file. The FDLE determines if an applicant is statutorily fit to have their data erased and confirms they meet and agree to the requirement before issuing the Certificate of Eligibility. You can request the Certificate of Eligibility application by emailing the FDLE at SEinfo@fdle.state.fl.us. The documents required to apply for a certificate of eligibility are:

1. An application that must include personal identifying information. The interested party must sign the application in the presence of a notary or court clerk.

2. A written certified statement page: This is only necessary for expungement requests. The state-wide prosecutor or the applicable attorney of the state must complete it.

3. A certified disposition obtained from the court clerk of the applicant’s original charge. The applicant also needs files that prove probation termination if there was any probation.

4. A completed fingerprint card. A law enforcement professional (LEP) or criminal justice agency can aid the applicant in performing this correctly.

5. A processing fee of $75.00. Note that this fee is not refundable. 

6. An attorney letterhead; however, this is not applicable in all cases. 

The next thing to do is fill out the application and send it back to the FDLE. The agency will ascertain whether the malefactor file qualifies for blocking or erasing. If it is, the FDLE will award you a certificate. After receiving the eligibility certificate, the applicant must submit the notary paper together with an affidavit. Applicants must also include a non-petition for release with the court. Typically, this would go to the court with authority over the charges you request to shut or delete. Note that it is ultimately the court’s decision to either erase the file or not. Applicants that feel unfairly deprived of record blocking or deleting may request a review of the case by the FDLE. You can find forms and instructions in the seal and expunge portal available at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.

In conclusion

Getting one’s name blocked or completely taken off the state’s offender database is possible following steps laid out by the law enforcement authorities. The processing time to determine if a file qualifies for deleting by the FDLE is usually 12 weeks from the date an accurately filled application packet is received. After fulfilling the requirements and confirming eligibility, a person seeking a malefactor file sealed or expunged will most likely have it done.