However, just because your case has been dismissed doesn't mean that the charge automatically comes off of your record.
If your case is in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, then your information is accessible to the public. Just visit www.miami-dadeclerk.com, if you are looking up a Miami-Dade case, or www.browardclerk.org, if you are looking up a Broward case.
If your case has been nolle prossed, your case information will still come up in any background check. The only thing is the disposition (outcome) of the case will show that it was nolle prossed, at least on the Miami-Dade Clerk's page. Sometimes the Broward Clerk's page does not show the disposition, only that the case is closed.
What is troubling for many is that this information is 100% public. It also shows a lot of information, including the charge. If you are looking on the Miami-Dade Clerk's page, you will be able to scroll through the entire docket history.
So how do you get rid of this case information even though the case has been dismissed?
You expunge the record.
By expunging your criminal record, you are removing all information from public databases regarding your arrest. This process takes 4-6 months but will permit you to legally deny that you have ever been arrested, provided this is your first arrest.
You only get one expungement per lifetime, under Florida law.
There may be other obstacles to your eligibility, however. Click here to find out if you are eligible to have your record expunged.
One obstacle is that if you have ever been convicted (adjudicated) of any crime, you cannot have any subsequent arrest expunged.
Even if you received a written promise to appear (PTA) from the officer, you have still been "arrested." There will be a record available of your arrest online unless you get your case dismissed and expunge the record.
I practice criminal defense in South Florida and assist many clients in the expungement process. If you require the services of an expungement attorney, call me today. I charge a flat fee of $625, including costs.