If your read my earlier posts, you will see that sealing a criminal record and expunging a criminal record are two different things. The State of Florida only permits one expungement or sealing of a record in your lifetime, and it cannot be for a charge for which you have received an adjudication. Also, an expungement erases a charge that was either never filed or dismissed. A record is sealed if you have received a withhold of adjudication on a qualifying offense.
The process takes 4-6 months. The first step is to contact a Miami expungement lawyer or Broward expungement lawyer today to discuss your eligibility. If you are eligible, the next step is to get your fingerprints taken at your local police department. There is usually a nominal charge, like $5, which you pay directly to the police department. The next step is to fill out an Application for Expungement or Application to Seal Record and have it notarized. If you are applying for an expungement, the application must first be approved by the State Attorney's Office in the county of your arrest. To seal a record, there is no approval by the State Attorney required.
After this step is completed, a packet of the necessary documents are prepared by a South Florida expungement attorney and are sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) along with a $75 application fee. After the application is processed by FDLE, it is returned to my office along with a certificate of eligibility. This is the State of Florida's way of telling you that you have been approved to have your record cleaned.
I then prepare a petition that I will present to the Judge who presided over your case. Assuming no complications or legal barriers, the Judge will usuallly grant the motion and sign the order destroying your record, or having the court file sealed.
This is an excellent thing to do if you are eligible. The most common reason why my clients chose to seal or expunge their criminal records is because of employment. If your record is cleaned, an employer or prospective employer will not be able to find out about a past arrest. This is crucial in a tough economy where employers are being very selective, and a past arrest may ruin your chances of employment.
I enjoy helping clients get a second chance. As a Miami expungement attorney and as a Broward expungement attorney, I charge $625.00 for the entire process. This includes all fees, such as the $7 fee to order a certified disposition of your case, the $75 application fee to FDLE, and the $42 fee to the Clerk of Courts.
If you shop around, you will see that expungements and record sealing can range from $400 all the way up to $1000. I believe that I charge a reasonable fee, considering that I, an expungement lawyer, will handle the process from start to finish. I do not employ any paralegals or assistants. Your expungement or sealing will be handled entirely by one attorney. The best part about my representation is that you never need to take time out of your day to come to my office. This entire process can be done through fax, email, and regular mail. I will send you the documents you need to sign and you will return them to me. For collection of my fees, I accept checks by mail or credit cards.
If you are interested in expunging or sealing your record, contact me, a Miami expungement attorney and a Broward expungement attorney, today!