Frequently Asked Questions
We hope to provide you with useful information about sealing and expunging your record. Here are the top questions our clients ask.
Answer: The first step is determining if you qualify for record sealing or expungement. If you don’t qualify, then there is no need to pay someone to do that which can’t be accomplished. To qualify you:
- Can’t ever had a criminal case sealed or expunged in Florida.
- You can’t ever have been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense in Florida, including any criminal traffic offenses.
- If your case resulted in a withhold of adjudication, it can’t be the type of case which is disqualified from being sealed (depends on the charge).
- You can’t be presently under court supervision (probation, house arrest, etc.).
- Not sure if you qualify? Email us using the free evaluation form and we will let you know if you qualify.
Expungement: If your case was not filed by the state attorney, later dropped by the state attorney (nolle prossed), dismissed by the court, or you were found not guilty by a judge or jury, then your case can be expunged. Expunged means the file is destroyed after the court orders it to expunged.
Sealing: If you take a plea to a case and receive a withhold of adjudication, then your case may be able to be sealed as long as it is a sealable offense. There are a number of types of offenses that can’t be sealed or expunged if you take a plea to that type of charge. The most common ones are: domestic violence, robbery, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault. However, there are more. You can always email us to find out if your charge qualifies if you received a withhold of adjudication. If your case is sealed, your file is removed from public access and can only be viewed by court order.
In both sealing and expungements the case information is removed from public view and access.
Answer: On average it takes 5-7 months to get a record sealed or expunged. The length of time depends on how backed up the Florida Department of Law Enforcement takes in processing your application and also the county in which your case is in. Some counties simply are slower in processing requests for documents and requesting court dates. If anyone says they can get it done faster, ask them to put it writing, they won’t because they can’t make that promise.
Answer: Typically, no. Florida law only allows the sealing or expungement of one case in a lifetime. The only exception is if you have multiple cases that are related to the same incident or arrest.
Answer: If some of your charges were dropped, dismissed, or not filed, but you took a plea on another charge, then you may be eligible to seal that charge, not expunge it.
Answer: My office typically charges a flat fee of $799.00 to seal or expunge a record. There is no extra charge if you qualify to have more than one case sealed or expunged. We offer payments plans which allow you to pay in three installments of $266.33. The first payment is due at the start of the case for us to start working on your case. The second payment is due before your documents are sent to the FDLE, and the third payment is due before we file the final documents with the court.
Most final hearings are summary procedures. This means the judge will review the filings by the attorney and sign the order to seal or expunge. In some cases, there may be a final hearing by telephone or video conference. In rare cases where a judge is requiring the attorney to appear at a final hearing in person, we charge an additional $150.00 fee for the in person court appearance. This is not the norm however as most judges don’t require an in person appearance for the final hearing.
Answer: No. We work remotely and have worked remotely for 20 years. We handle your case via email and regular mail. No office visits are required. This has been our procedure since we began and this procedure has allowed us to represent clients all over Florida, the United States, and even internationally, in the sealing or expungement of their Florida criminal cases.
Answer: No. You will not have to appear in Court. We will appear in Court on your behalf if a court appearance is required.