Expunging My Record in Tampa | How to Protect Your Reputation

David Weisselberger | February 9, 2023

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Criminal records are open to the public in Florida, which means that anyone can review your criminal history. Because this sensitive data could jeopardize your future prospects, you can apply to have a record sealed or expunged. 

Expunging or sealing a criminal history record in Florida entails concealing it to keep it from public view.

The public has no access to a sealed document. However, certain government entities, such as law enforcement agencies, could still use this information, but only to a limited extent.

Information that has been sealed was removed from most databases and may only be accessed with an order from the court.

If you require legal assistance to seal or expunge your criminal history records in Tampa, be sure to contact an Erase the Case criminal defense attorney.

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What Does It Mean to “Seal” or “Expunge” a Criminal Record in Tampa?

As mentioned before, because anyone can view your criminal record, which can have a significant impact on potential jobs, housing, and more, the state of Florida gives people two ways to prevent these records from having such negative consequences. These are sealing or expunging them.

While both of these methods can help those with an arrest record keep sensitive information related to their past criminal record away from the public eye, they accomplish this in two very different ways.

Sealing a Criminal Record

When a criminal justice agency seals a record, it is preserved and kept away from the public eye. However, a sealed record can be accessed by a law enforcement agency, but in order to access sealed records, a court order must first be obtained.

You can also rest assured that your sealed record will not appear in a background check. Moreover, the record will be expunged or permanently removed after being sealed for 10 years.

Expunging Criminal Records

When the state attorney’s office decides to expunge criminal history records, it drops the criminal charges, permanently destroying or removing them.

Keep in mind that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will keep a copy of the expunged record. This method is a more thorough way of dealing with your arrest records to help you move forward with your life.

What Are the Advantages of Having an Arrest Record Sealed or Expunged?

One of the main reasons people go the extra mile to have their arrest records sealed or expunged is that it increases their chances of being employed or finding suitable housing.

Because your criminal record is accessible to the public, your chances of being hired or being considered for housing decreases. You can put your past behind you and start anew by sealing or expunging records in Florida.

What Criminal Offenses Cannot Be Expunged or Sealed?

  • According to Florida Statutes, the following offenses do not qualify to be sealed or expunged:
  • Battery and assault (including domestic battery)
  • Robbery
  • Child abuse
  • Arson
  • Sexual crimes against minors
  • Terrorism
  • Kidnapping
  • Carjacking and burglary
  • The abuse of an elderly person
  • Drug trafficking

Additionally, if you were found guilty, pled guilty, or did not contest a charge, you may also be denied any requests to seal or expunge a record.

Are You Eligible to Have Your Criminal History Sealed or Expunged?

In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The charges must have been acquitted, dropped, or dismissed
  • Your crime must not fall into one of the categories listed above
  • A record has been sealed for 10 years (it will qualify for expungement)
  • You have not applied to have this record sealed or expunged before
  • There are no ongoing cases on your name
  • You are not under court supervision (for example, house arrest or probation)

The best way to determine whether you are eligible to have your records sealed or expunged is to visit a criminal defense attorney who can offer formal legal counsel.

A Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help!

The truth is that a criminal offense can have a serious effect on your life. If you think you might be eligible to seal or expunge a criminal record, get in touch with a Tampa expungement attorney who can offer formal legal advice.

Sealing or expunging records in Florida isn’t easy. It involves applying for a certificate of eligibility, filing a petition for relief, and processing the petition. We can take care of the legal process for you so that you can focus on starting afresh!

To find out more about how you can have a record sealed or expunged or book a consultation, call us today at 1 (866) ERASE-FL!

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David Weisselberger
Author | Founder
"David Weisselberger is the founder of Erase The Case. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Florida, & also his Juris Doctor from UM School of Law. Afterwards, He has been working as a former Miami-Dade County Assistant Public Defender. Also, as a solo lawyer and former associate at South Florida’s honored Saban & Solomon Law Firm. He has learned firsthand the effects people face from having a public criminal arrest record mark their lives. Therefore, David has always been working hard to help people get rid of haunting crimnal past and have a second chance in life"

Trusted process. Proven results.

We have provided more expungements than any other law firm in the state of Florida, but don't just take our word for it.  
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  • google logogoogle reviews stars
    "My experience with this law firm was exceptional. After submitting the required documents, they took care of everything with ease, professionalism, and expediency. I was kept informed throughout the process. In only 3 months, all record of my case was erased from my background check. I used the "expunge now, pay later" option, which let me pay the fee over time with Affirm."
    Lee County
  • google logogoogle reviews stars
    "I'm beyond happy right now, I contacted David about my case few months ago and right away he was able to help me , the whole process was very easy they kept me updated every step now my case is sealed.very professional I recommend this firm, if I can give more than 5 stars I would. "
    Miami-Dade County
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    "I would recommend anyone that has a background to use Erase the Case Services. David is a great lawyer answers all of your questions keeps you updated during the process. The staff there are excellent people very professional. The process doesn't even take long!"
    Broward County
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    "After having doubts about Erase the case the expungement law firm, David and his team gave me the piece of mind I've been searching for after successfully expunging my case... I 100% recommend Erase the case to anybody in need of help. Again, thanks David for everything."
    Orange County
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    "It was such a clear and straightforward experience all the way through, I'm grateful and thankful that I found their services! Companies like this give hope to those that have had hardships in life a chance to a better future. Erase the Case did an amazing job, they stand on behalf of those looking to change their lives for good! Thank you."
    Hillsborough County
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    "David is extremely professional and knowledgable in his craft. He and his team will ensure you receive excellent legal care and advice. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for representation that you can trust and at reasonable retainers. Do not hesitate to reach out. Thanks David"
    Palm Beach County
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    "Erase the case has been a pleasure to work with. Attorneys are respectful of your situation and provide realistic honest expectations. They are very responsive and there if you need to contact them. It's great to be able to speak directly with the attorney regarding any issue."
    Duval County
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    "Great communication and keeping me updated with the process. He handled everything so professionally and kept in the loop at all times. I highly recommend EraseTheCase! Thank you so much for your assistance with my case."
    Pinellas County
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    "David made the process simple and thoroughly explained everything. He made himself available to answer questions and was timely in responding to emails. He is very knowledgeable In this area and I would recommend him to anyone looking to complete this process."
    Polk County
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