How Long Does A Felony Stay On Your Record in Florida?

David Weisselberger | November 11, 2023

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What Is A Felony in Florida?

what is a felony in florida

In Florida, a felony represents a category of serious criminal offenses, including a wide range of crimes such as homicide, robbery, sexual assault, drug trafficking, and white-collar offenses. 

These felonies are categorized into three degrees: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree felonies, each with varying degrees of severity. Convictions for felonies in Florida can result in significant penalties, such as imprisonment, fines, probation, and other legal consequences. 

Understanding the classification of felonies and their potential effects is crucial for anyone navigating the Florida criminal justice system, especially if you aim to clear your criminal record.

How Long Does A Felony Stay On Your Record in Florida?

In Florida, a felony remains on your record for the rest of your life!

In Florida, a felony can stay on your record for the rest of your life (unless you get it expunged). Depending on the severity of the crime, you might either be committed to the death penalty or incarceration in a state prison. The state classifies felonies into five degrees below:

Capital Felony

A capital felony conviction can result in a life sentence or the death penalty, which is exclusively determined by a judge. 

Life Felony

If convicted of a life felony, an individual faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. 

First-Degree Felony

A first-degree felony carries a potential prison term of up to 30 years.

Second-Degree Felony

Second-degree felonies may result in imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Third-Degree Felony

A third-degree felony can lead to a prison term of up to 5 years.

Expunge Your Felonies in less than 5 months.

Erase The Case provides the fastest felony expungement service with ease

Can You Expunge A Felony in Florida?

Expunging a felony in Florida is contingent on meeting specific eligibility requirements, including:

  • No prior expungements in Florida.
  • No previous adjudication of guilt or delinquency for any criminal charges.
  • There is no pending petition for expungement in any Florida court.
  • Acquittal or a finding of not guilty by a judge or jury.
  • Dismissal of the case, a dropped charge, or a nolle prosequi declaration.

You can receive results in under two minutes to check your eligibility for expungement in Florida.

The Benefits of Sealing and Expunging Felonies

Expunging a felony in Florida brings benefits like improved job opportunities, housing acceptance, and peace of mind during background checks. It also safeguards personal information, enhances educational prospects, and, in some cases, restores firearm rights. Sealing felonies in Florida offers privacy, better job prospects, housing opportunities, reinstated civil rights, and peace of mind, as it keeps the record private and lessens the impact on your life.

How Long Can A Felony Charge Be Pending in Florida

The statute of limitations in Florida sets a specific timeframe within which the state can initiate an investigation, make an arrest, and file criminal charges for a particular felony offense. The duration varies based on the severity of the felony; here are the following:

  • Capital felonies have no statute of limitations, allowing the state to pursue charges indefinitely for the most severe offenses.
  • First-degree felonies are subject to a four-year statute of limitations and involve serious crimes with significant penalties upon conviction.
  • Lesser felonies, primarily second and third-degree felonies, have a three-year statute of limitations.
  • Exceptions exist for specific crimes like theft-related offenses, where the statute of limitations can extend to four to six years based on circumstances.

Check this article to know: How Long Can A Felony Charge Be Pending in Florida?

Looking for a Felony Expungement Attorney?

At Erase the Case, we specialize in felony offense expungement cases in Florida. Our experienced attorneys can help you through the legal process and help you regain control of your life by erasing your past and building a brighter future. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility and how we can assist you.


Does a felony ever go away in Florida?

No, a felony conviction does not naturally disappear from your record in Florida. However, you can explore options like expungement or sealing to mitigate the impact of a felony on your criminal record.

What felonies can be expunged in Florida?

Not all felonies can be expunged in Florida. Generally, non-violent and less serious felonies have a higher likelihood of eligibility for expungement. However, specific eligibility criteria can vary, and it’s crucial to consult legal experts to determine if your particular felony conviction qualifies.

How long are you considered a felon in Florida?

Once convicted of a felony in Florida, you are considered a felon for life unless you take legal steps to expunge or seal the felony from your record.

How do I remove a felony from my record in Florida?

Clear your criminal record in Florida through a process called expungement or sealing. Consult with Erase the Case to determine eligibility and guide you through the legal procedures.

What do felons lose in Florida?

Felons in Florida may face various consequences, including the limitation, worse loss, of specific civil rights, such as the right to hold public office, vote, or possess firearms.

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David Weisselberger
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"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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