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.