I. Expunging a Florida criminal record:

Expungement of a Florida criminal record means that any law enforcement or judicial record of a single arrest/incident is physically destroyed so it can not be accessed.  However, the individual may still have to reveal the existence of that expunged charge (or charges) in certain circumstances (see II below).

Under Florida law, an individual who has a criminal arrest record may qualify to have that record expunged if they meet the following qualifications:

  1. They have never been convicted of or plead guilty to any criminal charge, either while an adult or minor.
  2. They have not been convicted, entered a guilty plea, or had adjudication withheld in the particular arrest/charge that they want expunged. 
  3. They are not on probation.
  4. They have never had a criminal record sealed or expunged in any jurisdiction.

II. When an expunged record must be divulged:

Despite being destroyed and unavailable to the public, meaning it will not be show up on any background checks, the FDLE will reveal the existence of an expunged record to the following parties if you are applying to them for employment or a professional license:

  1. A law enforcement agency
  2. The Department of Children and Family
  3. The Department of Juvenile Justice
  4. A contractor or licensee dealing with children
  5. The Department of Education
  6. Any public school
  7. Any private school
  8. The Florida Bar

Additionally, an individual who has had a criminal record expunged may deny the existence of that record, except in the following circumstances:

They are seeking employment from any of the following entities;

  1. A law enforcement agency
  2. The Department of Children and Family
  3. The Department of Juvenile Justice
  4. The Department of Education
  5. Any public school
  6. Any private school
  7. A contractor or licensee dealing with children

Or when;

  1. Applying to the Florida Bar
  2. They are being prosecuted for a subsequent crime

III. The effect of a withhold of adjudication:

If an individual receives a withhold of adjudication on any charge(s), they will not be able to have those charges expunged.  However, they may still be eligible to have those charges sealed (see the page on sealing).  After 10 years, a sealed record may be eligible for expungement.



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