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What Is The Difference Between Sealing And Expunging Your Record?

Aggressive Trial Attorney With a Reputation for Success
By far, the most commonly asked question I get is, "What is the difference between sealing and expunging your record?"
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.
Any qualifying offense for which the accused received a withhold of adjudication may be sealed. Remember, domestic violence cases, burglary of a dwelling, drug trafficking, robbery, and aggravated assault are just a few offenses which can not be sealed.
Of course, if you have received an adjudication (conviction) for any criminal offense (felony or misdemeanor), or have a prior adjudication for any felony or misdemeanor (this includes criminal traffic offenses such as driving while license suspended and DUI), 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.
Call me if you are interested in cleaning your criminal record.