The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is currently processing applications to seal or expunge Florida criminal records that were submitted in June 2017.
This five-month delay is a little greater than usual, but due to the relatively small number of processors compared to the large number of applications, delays like this are not uncommon.
In total, this delay likely means that your sealing or expunging process will take about 6-8 months, possibly longer.
There is nothing that can be done to speed up the process. You, as the applicant, can make sure to fill out your paperwork in a timely fashion, sign and notarize what you need to, and return all documents, fingerprints, and filing fees to your attorney as soon as possible.
Some Florida counties are also slower than others when it comes to processing applications to expunge and petitions to seal or expunge. The Clerk of Courts is responsible for processing sealing and expungement petitions (the legal document that is presented to the judge). I find that Broward County is the slowest when it comes to processing petitions. Miami-Dade County is typically the quickest.
Sealing or expunging your criminal record in Florida takes time, but it is worth it! Don't wait for processing times to slow down. If you would've started the process this time last year, you would've been done by now.
At the same time, there is no limit on when you can seal or expunge your record. If you charges get dropped on a Monday, you may begin the expungement process on Tuesday. If your charges were dropped in 1975, you may expunge the record now in 2017. There is no limit, however it is suggested that you begin the process as soon as you become eligible.
Eric Matheny is a sealing and expungement attorney serving Florida. Eric Matheny seals and expunges records in all 67 Florida counties.