By far, the most commonly asked question I get is, "What is the difference between
sealing and expunging
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, "when a criminal
history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain
governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in
s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes
, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.
When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access
to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has
had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself
without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating
that 'Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record.'"
A charge which was dismissed before trial (no information, no action, or
nolle prosse) may be
expunged immediately provided all charges related to the arrest were so disposed
of, and the record is otherwise eligible.
Any charge, which resulted in a withhold of adjudication or in an acquittal
(not guilty verdict) after trial, may not be expunged unless and until
it has first been sealed for at least 10 years.
Of course, if you have received an adjudication (conviction) for any criminal
offense (felony or
), or have a prior adjudication for any felony or misdemeanor (this includes
criminal traffic offenses such as
driving while license suspended
), you cannot get any charge on your criminal record sealed or expunged.
I handle the expunging and sealing of criminal records in both Miami-Dade
County and Broward County. I practice exclusively in the field of criminal
defense. When cleaning your record, you want to make sure that all of
the necessary steps are followed to ensure that your matter is handled
appropriately. All too often I see people attempting to expunge or seal
their own charges. I do not recommend this. A criminal record can prevent
you from getting a job. It may also cost you the one you already have.
I am a criminal attorney with the training and experience necessary to
properly clean your record. Much like plumbing, plastic surgery, and basic
home repair...some things are best left in the hands of professionals.
Some attorneys are shy about their fees. I am not. I charge a flat fee
of $625 to expunge or seal a criminal record. This fee includes all of
the expenses associated with the process. The fee also includes any court
appearance I must make.
Many firms that advertise cheap expungements or record sealings on the
Internet claim that they can do the job for $300 - $400. Click on their
sites and read the fine print. Those fees do not include expenses. I even
saw one "discount" firm that charged an additional $250 just
to go to court! That's insane. As an attorney, it's my job to
go before the court. I don't charge extra for that. That's like
a waiter charging you extra for bringing your food to the table. I don't
believe in added charges. I am a sworn officer of the court. That is where
I go to practice my craft. My fee is a one-time, upfront, flat fee. That's it.
if you are interested in cleaning your criminal record.