What's the expungement and sealing process?
First, you may want to ask for a Personal Review for Criminal History
- Call the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) at 850.410.7870 and ask specific questions about qualifying. For example: “I was found guilty of a DUI in NY in 1990 – do I qualify? That was my only arrest.”
Mail Application packet to FDLE:
- $75.00 money order payable to FDLE
- Completed fingerprint card
- Application signed before a Notary Public (Sect. B completed if expunging record)
- Certified copy of Final Disposition of your arrest(s)
You can go to the FDLE website to see what month’s applications they are currently reviewing (can be a four- to eight-month wait).
You will receive a Certificate of Eligibility from FDLE or a letter denying your Certificate of Eligibility, including reasons for denial.
Petition to Expunge or Seal Record
Once you get a Certificate of Eligibility, the next step is filing documents with the Court in the county where the arrest/court action occurred.
You will need to file:
- Certificate of Eligibility
- Petition to Expunge or Seal – Attach Certificate of Eligibility
- Proposed Order to Expunge/Seal
- Filing fee: Call the Expungement Clerk (Hillsborough County: 813.276.8100 ext. 3800) to find out the Clerk's fee and the Court Division and phone number
Contact the Expungement/Sealing Clerk in the County where the arrest occurred to find out whether a hearing is required and what the next steps are. For example, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties do not require a hearing. Those counties require that you file the above documents with the Court, along with a copy of the Petition to the State Attorney’s Office, FDLE, and the arresting agency.
If you have questions about these processes, FDLE or the Clerk's Office are very helpful.