Can I Have My Record Sealed or Expunged?
The Right Path to Clearing Your Criminal Record in South Florida
Sealing and expunging criminal records in Florida are two different processes. While the ultimate goal is the same - to clean your criminal record so that you may legally deny an arrest - sealing and expunging have different requirements. Before you retain a Miami-Dade County expungement attorney, it's important to know which process you qualify for.
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Only criminal charges that have resulted in dismissals can be expunged. A dismissal may mean successful completion of a pretrial diversion program, a nolle prosequi by the State Attorney's Office, or no formal criminal charges being filed ("no action" or "no info").
Once dismissed, you may expunge your arrest record provided you have no criminal convictions of any kind on your record and you have never sealed or expunged a record previously. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will run a comprehensive nationwide background check on all expungement applicants to make sure that this criteria is met. Expunging a record requires the approval of the State Attorney's Office that dismissed the case.
Sealing Your Record in Miami-Dade
As far as sealing a criminal record goes, you may be eligible to seal your record if you received a withhold of adjudication to a qualifying offense. Some offenses cannot be sealed, even if adjudication is withheld. These disqualifying offenses include but are not limited to burglary of a dwelling, drug trafficking, fraud, sexual battery, and several others. It's important to discuss your eligibility with a Miami-Dade County expungement lawyer prior to making any decisions.
The same rules apply to sealing as they do to expunging. You can have no criminal convictions on your record and you can have no prior sealings or expungements. Sealing does not require the approval of the State Attorney's Office. In all, sealing and expunging criminal records in Florida takes about six to eight months. This is mainly due to the backlog of applications being processed by FDLE.
Miami-Dade County Criminal Lawyer Helping You Seal or Expunge Your Record
The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A. is one of the few criminal defense law firms in Florida that handles sealing and expunging cases in all Florida counties.
I was charged with three felony charges related to check fraud. Eric used his expert knowledge to help resolve the charges with one day of jail served on the day that I surrendered myself to have charges filed.- Former Client
He made everything very clear and easy to understand and always kept me up to date with any changes.- Camila
We highly recommend him and would not hesitate to supply a personal reference concerning his professional conduct and compassion.- Michael
Tried 50+ Jury & Non-Jury TrialsAttorney Eric M. Matheny has tried enough cases to know that every case deserves a unique strategy in the courtroom. Our firm keeps your future in mind and always protects your rights.
Recognized Criminal Defense AttorneyAttorney Eric M. Matheny has been named among the “Best Criminal Lawyers in Miami” three years in a row: 2017, 2018 and 2019, by Expertise.com.
Experienced Former ProsecutorWith an insider’s perspective on the justice system, he has the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case to make wise decisions about how to proceed with your defense.
A Trusted Voice in the NewsA featured commentator on The Rick Jensen Show on WDEL, on the radio program “Let's Talk About,” and in the Miami New Times, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, and other publications.
Payment Plans OfferedWe believe everyone deserves high-quality legal representation at an affordable rate.