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Expungment of Criminal Record in Florida

Posted by attorney Yekaterina Mesic

Definition: Expungement occurs when a Court orders the physical destruction of a criminal record or part of the record by any criminal justice agency in possession of that record.

Note: Florida Department of Law Enforcement will retain a record even after the expunction.

How Many Times can a person receive an expungement? only once and it must be a first offense.

Applicable Statute: Chapter 943.0585 of the Florida Statutes, entitled "Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records." This statute can be found at

Who qualifies? A person whose charge was dismissed before trial, which means a no information or nolle prosequi was filed by the State Attorney's Office may apply for an expunction right away, if it is a qualifying offense.

If adjudication was withheld or a trial resulted in acquittal (a verdict of not guilty), the person may be eligible for an expuction after the record has been sealed for 10 years.


  1. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, pursuant to s.943.0585(2) and s.943.059(2), Florida Statutes.
  • Download application from FDLE webiste, use link below in the additonal sources section.

  • send a notarized application with the Office of the State Attorney to complete Section B of the Application.

    • once received from the Office of the State Attorney, submit it to FDLE, along with a fee of $75.00 (double check the statute, as the fee changes), fingerprint card Form FD 40-024 and a certified copy of the disposition of the case. You can get it from the Clerk's office for a fee.
    • the fee must be submitted in the form of cashier's check or money order. Please note this is NONREFUNDABLE fee, even if the application is denied.
  1. Once you obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from FDLE
  • File a petition together with the Certificate of Eligibility and affidavit in the Court where the charge was originally pending. Please note that even if you successfully obtain a Certificate of Eligibility the decision to grant the expuction is in the discretion of the court.
  1. If your petition is granted, make sure the arresting agency received the final Order of the Court, so they can distribute it to appropriate agencies.

Please refer to the statute for a list of offenses that do not qualify.

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