Although many states do not allow record sealing or record expungement, the State of Florida does. This can give you a fresh start for your future. Once your criminal record is sealed or expunged, you will feel more comfortable applying for jobs, loans and obtaining housing.
Many applications are handled and approved without a hearing. However there are a small number of counties that demand a hearing on every case. Once approved, the Judge issues an Order sealing or expunging your record. The Clerk's office then forwards the Order to the appropriate agencies to seal or expunge your record. Costs charged by the Clerk's vary from County to County,
Our legal fees for sealing or expunging your criminal history record are $495 plus the costs we must pay out to the various agencies and clerk's offices to complete the process. Costs generally range from $167 to $228 depending on the charges of the Clerk of Court in the County that you were arrested in. We also offer a payment plan if you wish to pay the fees and costs over time.
The legal record of your criminal history is effectively erased or destroyed, so your criminal record is not publicly known. (Certain government agencies may still have access to sealed criminal records.) Your record will not come up during a routine criminal background check by a prospective employer, landlord, credit card company or insurance agent, with a few exceptions. You can answer "no" to any application that asks if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, including applications for employment, apartments, loans or insurance.
Even though a person’s Florida criminal charges are dropped a criminal history record remains. In fact, it is a common occurrence for persons arrested in the State of Florida to have the charges they were arrested on dropped or not filed at all by the State Attorney’s office.
Fortunately, the answer to this question in Florida is yes. Most of the agencies that license health care workers and medical professionals have an exemption process for those with a criminal arrest record who are seeking to be licensed for the first time or those who have been arrested after having already been licensed.
In today’s ultra-competitive environment for finding employment, the vast majority of employers are conducting some form of criminal background check. In fact, if an employer in Florida simply conducts a Level 1 background check on prospective employees, there is a presumption that the employer was not negligent in hiring the employee in the event the employee intentionally causes damages to someone and the background check did not reveal the likelihood of the event.