Proven Winners
In Criminal Defense

When can you expunge your criminal record in Florida?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Having a criminal record can bring about numerous challenges in life, from securing a job to finding suitable housing. However, there is a process called “expungement” that allows individuals to clear their criminal records in certain circumstances.

Expunging a record entails removing information relating to the crime from public view. If you have a history of criminal arrests on your record, it is important to know when you might become eligible to expunge those records.

Eligibility criteria

Not all criminal records are eligible for expungement. The state of Florida outlines specific eligibility criteria that you must meet:

  • First-Time Offenders: If you were a first-time offender and you received a withheld adjudication, you might be eligible for expungement. Withheld adjudication means that although the court found you guilty, a conviction was not formally entered.
  • No Convictions: Your criminal record is only eligible for expungement if you received no formal conviction of a crime. This includes both felony and misdemeanor convictions.
  • Waiting Period: There is usually a waiting period after the closing of a case before you can apply for expungement. This waiting period varies based on the outcome of your case.

If you do not meet any one of the necessary criteria, the crime in question is not eligible for expungement.

Juvenile records

For individuals who were minors at the time of the offense, there is a separate process to expunge juvenile records. In Florida, certain juvenile records are eligible for expungement once the individual turns 21, or after a specified period from the resolution of the case.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that 255,213 arrests took place in 2020. Though this number is surprisingly high, a large amount of those arrests will become eligible for expungement if they were for misdemeanor crimes.