× Open in the RecordGone App Get
Higbee & Associates, a national law firm

Florida Expungement & Sealing FAQFrequently Asked Questions

We have answered the most commonly asked questions regarding the expungement process in Florida as well as our Florida Expungement service. Simply click on one of the questions to reveal the answer. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

Simply click on a question to see its answer:

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask your question in the comments below so we can answer it for you!

Comments (24)

Topic: Florida Expungement & Sealing FAQ
Add a Comment

16th November 2015 1:09pm
I have a misdemeanor on my record sealed and I am now seeking admission to the Florida Bar. How do I go about opening the record for them to view?
The State Bar is one of the agencies that should be granted the information from the FDLE.  However, if the Bar is requesting the actual court records and requiring you to obtain them, you should be able to file a motion with the court to unseal the sealed records.  You would then have to ensure they are sealed again once you have acquired the information you need.
2nd September 2015 9:47am
Here is a good one...1979 I was in the wrong place, wrong time. Drove from Sarasota to Ft. Lauderdale to see a friend. While waiting for them to get home from work, I drove around A1A. I stopped at a light and asked a guy on the street what time it was, (pre clocks in cheap toyota corollas) he told me, asked if I wanted to buy some weed. I did not, then drove away. I did not know he was under surveillance and that they were coming for him and me as I turned on to A1A to go to friends house. I was arrested and ultimately charged with Obstructing Justice W/O violence. Case dismissed. this is not Adjudication right? WOuld this present an issue for FREC? I am applying for Real estate License. I can't image it would, but do I need to disclose it?  Thanks
Without knowing more about the case and the exact way it was disposed/dismissed, we cannot provide specific information on your case. If you are interested in expunging or sealing your case, please take the eligibility test or contact our office if you wish for us to review your case to determine your eligibility and also how it may affect your real estate license application through the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC).
15th June 2015 9:34am
Why is my sealed record of 20 years public now?
Without knowing more about the specifics of your case and the type of record sealing you had done, it is hard to say why your case would begin appearing again after so long. Often private background check companies have the record and would not have been updated, but after 20 years it should not still be appearing.  Please contact our office and we can do case research for you to see why this may be occurring.
9th June 2015 11:59am
Back in 1995, I had a petty theft and adjudication withheld. I completed everything that was given to me, and have never done anything thing else I wont go into details but I'm not the one who stole I was the one who took the fall for it, I'm looking to get a job as a bank teller will this stop me from getting the job? And if so what can I do to change it? Thank you.
To see if you are eligible for an expungement, please take our eligibility test. Based on what you stated above, it seems that your case may be eligible to be sealed. Depending on the specifics of your case, it sounds like you may fall into the de minimis expeption under the FDIA that would allow you to work in a bank even with that case on your record. However, it will still appear on a background check unless sealed or expunged. And even though under Federal law a bank could hire you with a petty theft case does not mean they have to do so.  Getting it cleared to the greatest extent possible will definitely help your job search.
Alex T.
5th May 2015 12:03pm
I was arrested 6 years ago for reckless driving I had it sealed and expunged my driving record since then and before then has been clean not one ticket or citation since the incident or even before really. I am now trying to apply for a job as school bus driver, will they be able to hire me?
An expungement does not affect your driving record.  Therefore, it is possible the offense will still appear on your driving record and could affect your ability to get commercial driver's license and be hired to be a school bus driver.  You will have to check with the requirements for the job you are applying for, given that the offense will likely still be showing.
29th April 2015 6:46pm
I had my felony record sealed in 2010. I am trying to get a job at Department of Children and Families in an emergency shelter. They told me they'd be doing a federal background check and a live scan background check. Will this come up?
Above, there is a list of agencies and type of organizations that will still have access to sealed and expunged records. If your employment will include contact with children, it is possible the existence of a sealed record will be disclosed.
28th April 2015 11:57am
I know it can take up to a year for public records to be sealed or expunged, but while the process is going on, will the records still be open to the public?
No change is made to the availability of recods until the judge grants an expungement or sealing. Once the court grants the relief, the records at the court will be sealed/expunged within a couple days. The other state agencies can take up to 60 days (such as the FDLE) and the records will remain open to the public as they had been prior to the expungement until that update occurs. But these official records and agencies that hold the actual records will be updated much more quickly than a year.

Private commercial background check companies often do not update their information for long periods of time and they will continue to report inaccurate information until they are notified of the expungement or pull a new batch of updated data from the court. Please see our page on our Expedited Record Clearance Update service for more information or if you are interested in signing up for the service to update private background check companies.
Ms. Bivens
16th April 2015 3:06pm
What if I got arrested in another state other than Florida. Can I still get my criminal history expunged?
I am not sure I understand your question completely. You must file for an expungement in the state where your arrest occurred.  While you may be eligible to seal or expunge the case, your eligibility for such relief is determined by the state that originally heard your case.  If you have a Florida case and want to know how an additional out of state arrest or conviction affects your eligibility for that FL expungeemnt, please take the eligibility test or call our office at (877) 573-7273 to discuss the details of your case.
24th March 2015 9:14am
I was a victim of a fraudulent petition for a restraining order for stalking that was dismissed without prejudice as the complainant failed to show at the hearing. Is it possible to get the court record expunged or sealed? I'm concerned future potential employers may be hesitant in hiring me having doubt about the allegation of stalking.

The expungement and sealing process is generally limited to criminal cases.  A restraining order is a civil penalty and is not subject to the expungement and sealing relief discussed here. It may be possible to file a motion to have the civil case information sealed; a judge could provide that relief but it is granted in very limited circrumstances.
6th March 2015 1:28pm
In 2007 I was arrested for unemployment compensation fraud and "grand theft". I had just missed 2 payments and they arrested me for that. I was in the middle of finishing my Bachelor's degree in education. My records were expunged but I was once told that the Miami Dade County public schools can see that expunged record. Is this true? What can I do?

Yes, certain agencies and types of employers can have access to sealed or expunged records under Florida law. The complete list is provided above in the FAQs ("Do I ever have to disclose my expunged or sealed criminal record?")  The list includes educational institutions and positions having direct contact with children.  The fact that you have had it expunged will help, but knowing that they will be able to see it allows you to be up front regarding the charge and explain the circumstances of the charge and its subsequent expungement to any potential employers.
Kenneth S.
5th March 2015 10:25am
I am specifically interested in the effect of a sealing or expungement as it pertains to obtaining an insurance adjuster's license in the state of Florida.
According to Florida Administrative Code 69b-211.042, an applicant for an insuarnce adjuster's license does not need to disclose a sealed or expunged record and can affirmatively deny the case on the application.
1st March 2015 12:57pm
I had adjudication withheld on several felonies in 2008 when I was 18. I'm currently in college studying criminal justice. I want to be a probation officer am I still able to do that with my background?
Under Florida Statutes Section 943.13(4), you unfortunately would not be eligible to be a certified probation oficer in Florida with your record. The statute governing these positions specifically states that a withholding of adjudication doe not affect the analysis and is essentially considered the same as a conviction in this situation.
The law states: "Any person who, after July 1, 1981, pleads guilty or nolo contendere to or is found guilty of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement is not eligible for employment or appointment as an officer, notwithstanding suspension of sentence or withholding of adjudication."
25th February 2015 12:50pm
If I was arrested for aggravated assault, my charge was downgraded to simple battery and adjudication withheld may I get that record sealed?
Unfortunately, if the final charge you received withheld adjudication for is related to one of the offenses contained in the list of ineligible offenses (including aggravated assault), then your case in not eligble to be sealed.
10th February 2015 12:41pm
Hello.. I have a criminal felony in  Orlando, FL and I wanted to know if it's best to get my criminal record sealed, with the online 30 companies (for apartments doing background checks) or getting my criminal felony sealed for everywhere in the US? Note: it's mainly for apartments/housing. Thank you.
Unfortunately, if you were convicted of the felony you are not eligible to seal or expunge your record under the laws of Florida.  But as you mention, we can remove your information from 30 online companies.  Please see the page on our Background Check Removal service for more information.  If you were not convicted of the charge, then we would definitely advise you to seek whatever remedy you can through the court in Florida as clearing up your official record is always the best first step, and you can always pursue the other services as well.  Take our eligibility test to see if you qualify for expungement.
25th January 2015 12:37pm
I was charged and arrested in June of 2014 for burglary, grand theft, and dealing with stolen property but my case was dropped. Now I've been charged and finger printed but not arrested in November 2014. My court date is coming up and If it gets dropped or dismissed. What can I do to have both cases off of my recored ?
I am unclear on whether you were recharged for those same offenses or if it was an entirely new case.  Regardless you must wait until any pending or open charges are resolved before you can file for expungement or sealing.  Once that has happened, please take our eligibilty test or call our office to discuss your cases.
Savannah Jones
4th October 2014 6:15pm
I had my record sealed in Marion County, Florida. How long does it take for the Marion County Sheriff's Office to comply and remove my information from their jail viewer, which is visible to the public?
Jenna Thorne
8th October 2014 9:50pm
After your case is granted, the court clerk serves a copy of the granted order on all law enforcement agencies who hold records of your case, including the county sheriff's office. Upon receipt of the granted order, a sheriff's office usually will update the records within 60 days, though depending on how busy their records department is, it could be done much more quickly than that. If your information has not been removed 60 days after the sealing was granted, I would recommend contacting the Sheriff's Office to ensure the order has been received and is being processed.
30th September 2014 6:39pm
My 1999 arrest record has been expunged and I am a medical professional for the elderly in Florida. Am I required to explain my expunged arrest record to my employer?
11th September 2014 1:47pm
I was convicted of a petty theft charge in Florida back in 2011. One of them was withheld. However, I do have other traffic charges that I was convicted of. Will I be able to get the petty theft charge expunge/sealed? I heard that if you only have one guilty then you can. I don't know how true it is,. I'm trying to go to school to become a CNA, but I need to handle this issue before hand. Is there any way out of this situation?
11th September 2014 2:05pm
Not all traffic offenses are disqualifying offenses. The best thing to do to determine if you are eligible to expunge your Florida record is take our online eligibility test or call us. You can also apply with the FDLE for an eligibility certificate.
27th July 2014 10:36pm
I am in florida and about 7 years ago my case was adjudicated withheld and 3 1/2 years ago it was sealed by a judge. I am now trying to obtain my state license for respiratory. Since it fell under statute 817, does this mean that I will not be eligible for hire?
Jenna Thorne
29th July 2014 4:31pm
Unfortunately, under a recent law change in Florida in 2009, Chapter 817 (fraudulent acts) cases are considered disqualifying for medical licenses. For the exact language of the law, please see: http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/S... Because of this law and the fact that you must disclose sealed and expunged cases to the Department of Health, which oversees the Board of Respiratory Care, it seems that you will run into problems when applying for a license. However, this is a very complicated issue and we do not specialize in medical licensing in Florida. I would recommend checking with the Board directly regarding your exact situation; you can even ask questions through their website at http://floridasrespiratorycare... or you can contact an attorney who handles this specific type of issue on a regular basis as they may be able to help you better navigate the license application process.
Priscilla Lilrose Owens
25th July 2014 2:10pm
In 2008 I was charged with grand theft. Then I went through court, completed the PTI program and paid restitution so they dismissed my case. When I look at my record I see nolle prosequi. Can I get a job working in a bank with nolle prosequi on my record?
Jenna Thorne
29th July 2014 3:32pm
That is a great question. While a case that has been dismissed presents fewer problems for someone seeking employment, getting a job with a bank is a whole other obstacle. Under Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and the related rules and regulations, banks will consider and be required to notify the FDIC about both convictions and charges that resulted in a Pretrial Diversion program. While there are exceptions and waivers that can be obtained in order to secure a job in the banking industry, you may also be eligible to expunge your case. If the case is completely expunged, it would no longer pose the same problems with respect to the FDIC and obtaining a job in the banking industry. Please take our online eligibility test to determine if your case is eligible for an expungement or contact our office to discuss your case further, regarding both the Florida expungement and your concerns with employment in the banking industry.

Add Comment

Please use this section to ask questions about the law, our law firm or our services. If you have questions about your particular situation or wish to hire us to perform a service, please take the online eligibility test, read our website's extensive frequently asked question section or call us at (877) 573-7273.

Questions about your right to possess a firearm in a state other than the state where the conviction occurred generally require research for which we charge $250.

* Required information
(never displayed)
Instantly find out if you're eligible on our Eligibility Test

5 I am overwhelmed with joy that I found this service, I thought that I was going to live with the albatross for the rest of my life. They made this process as easy as it possibly could be and for an incredibly affordable rate. I could not be happier.
See More Reviews
Free Eligibility Test
//Google New Tag Manager Code 0823 JM