Oftentimes, people think that criminal traffic convictions will not count toward your sealing or expunging eligibility.
However, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the agency that approves sealing or expunging applications, will not only perform a background check for all felony and misdemeanor priors, but they will pull your records from all motor vehicle department databases (nationwide) to check for convictions for criminal traffic offenses.
Now, civil traffic offenses, such as tickets for speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield, will not count because those are not crimes. However, the following is a list of traffic offenses that are crimes:
2) Reckless Driving
3) No Valid Driver's License (NVDL)
5) Valid Driver's License Restriction (VDLR)
If you have received a withhold of adjudication or a nolle prosse (dismissal) for any of the above charges, you will be eligible to either expunge/seal that arrest, or seal/expunge any subsequent arrest, provided it is not a disqualifying offense.
If you received a conviction (adjudication) for any of the above charges, you will not be eligible to have that arrest sealed/expunged, or any subsequent arrest sealed/expunged, even if the future arrest results in a nolle prosse or no action. It's unfair but it's the state of the law in Florida.
If you have a conviction from any other state, you will be ineligible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida.
This is important to know because whenever you plead no contest to a DUI or a reduced charge of reckless driving in Florida, you are convicted. The legislature does not permit withholds of adjudication for DUIs.
This information will help you to decide whether you should retain a criminal defense attorney to clean your criminal record. If you know ahead of that that you are ineligible, it will save you time and money. If you believe that you are eligible to have your criminal record cleaned, call me so that we may discuss the matter further.
I represent clients in sealing and expungement matters in the Miami-Dade and Broward courts. However, I handle sealing and expungement matters in Palm Beach County, as well as Monroe County.