As you may know from previous posts, there is a difference between sealing and expunging a criminal record.
To make a long story short, if your charges were dismissed by the State (nolle prosse or no action), you should be able to have your arrest expunged, or destroyed.
If you have not been adjudicated (convicted) and received a withhold of adjudication, you may be able to get your record sealed.
For the purposes of this post, I will only discuss sealing your record. For more information on expunging your record (your charges were dismissed or never formally filed) click here.
If you have been convicted of any crime, you may not get that charge sealed. Period. The State of Florida will deny your application.
If you have ever been convicted of any crime, you will not be able to seal or expunge a subsequent charge.
A conviction can be for any crime, including criminal traffic offenses such as DUI, DWLS, and reckless driving.
If you have never been convicted of any crime, but received a withhold of adjudication for any of the following offenses, you still cannot have your record sealed if you were charged with the following crimes:
2. Aggravated assault
3. Aggravated battery
4. Illegal use of explosives
5. Child abuse or aggravated child abuse
6. Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
7. Aircraft piracy
11. Sexual battery
12. Robbery (any kind of robbery, with or without a weapon)
14. Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in presence of a child under the age of 16 years
15. Sexual activity with a child, who is 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, by or at solicitation of person in familial or custodial authority
16. Burglary of a dwelling (burglary of a structure or car are eligible)
17. Stalking (misdemeanor) and aggravated stalking (felony)
18. Act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 (doesn't matter if it's a misdemeanor or felony)
19. Home invasion robbery
20. Act of terrorism as defined in s. 775.30;
21. Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893 (manufacturing narcotics)
22. Trafficking (in any controlled substance)
23. Attempting or conspiring to commit any such crime
This is a pretty comprehensive list. It is unfair that the State will not permit the sealing of many of these offenses, including misdemeanor domestic violence charges. For those reasons, I always encourage clients charged with disqualifying offenses to fight hard for dismissal. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a criminal record.
I practice criminal defense in South Florida. I dedicate a significant percentage of my practice to the sealing and expunging of criminal records.
If you have a record that you would like sealed or expunged, call me so that we may determine whether you are eligible.