What is the difference between expungement and sealing?

If a record is expunged, the record is destroyed.

  • You may be able to expunge if the final result in your case was dismissal, no prosecution (nolo prossed), letter of release, or verdict of “not guilty.”
  • You cannot expunge a record if the final result was “adjudication withheld.”

If a record is sealed, the record is made confidential but is not destroyed.

  • You cannot seal a record if you were convicted of a dangerous crime and received “adjudication withheld.”

For both expungement and sealing:

  • Your record will not show up if most people or agencies try to view your criminal record.
  • You can deny that you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, except under certain circumstances.
  • You can also deny to your local Housing Authority, apartment complexes, many employers, and more.

NOTE: You cannot lawfully deny the arrest(s) to certain agencies. Talk to an attorney or read Florida Statutes 943.0585 and 943.059 for more information.

Resources

Still have questions?

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?

Call (800) 625-2257

to apply for service.

Or complete our online application

and we will call you back.