For the past few years, FDLE has faced a backlog of applications. The processing of an application was taking several months, bringing the length of the entire sealing or expunging process in the State of Florida to six to eight months.
In recent months, I have seen that timeframe reduced to four to six months.
If you start sealing or expunging your Florida criminal record today, you can expect to have the process completed and a court order in your hand by April 2015.
This is based on the average timeframe for sealing or expunging a Florida record. Some sealing or expunging applications take longer depending on the circumstances.
By and large, the stage in the sealing or expunging process that takes the longest is the FDLE processing time. Remember, the State Attorney's Office still must process applications (for expungements only), and the Clerk of Courts and the judge must process the petitions.
But by getting caught up, FDLE has made the sealing or expunging process more efficient, which will result in your criminal record getting erased more quickly.
With some exceptions, sealing or expunging a Florida criminal record will allow you to legally deny the arrest.
You can have no convictions on your record in order to be eligible to seal or expunge in the State of Florida. Furthermore, you cannot have a prior record sealing or expunction within the State of Florida. Florida law does allow you to seal or expunge a record if you have previously sealed or expunged, so long as the prior sealing or expunction occurred outside of the State of Florida.
Eric Matheny is a Florida expungement attorney who can seal or expunge criminal records in any Florida county.