How To Expunge A Felony in Florida (Eligibility, Process, & Cost)

David Weisselberger | November 5, 2023

DO I QUALIFY?

If you or someone you know struggles with a public criminal record in Florida, then you understand the embarrassment  it presents. This guide is your first step towards a fresh start through felony expungement. It's the process that wipes particular criminal records from public view, offering a new  fresh start in your life. 

Be it eligibility criteria, procedural steps, or associated costs, we're your compass. Read on to explore what is felony expungement, how to expunge criminal records in Florida, and what felonies can be expunged in Florida.

What Is A Felony Expungement in Florida?

what is a felony expungement

Felony expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to remove felony case from their criminal history record. Different from misdemeanor expungement, felony expungement for people who are convicted of serious crimes that lead to more significant consequences. It offers a chance to erase or remove past mistakes, providing a fresh start for those who have been charged with a felony criminal charge but have not been convicted. Expunging a felony in Florida can be a lifeline for individuals seeking to rebuild their lives.

Read More: 5 Degrees of Felonies that You Need To Know

Eligibility Requirements for Expungement in Florida

Determining who can expunge a felony offense in Florida relies on the eligibility requirement, including the following:

  • No previously expunged cases in Florida
  • No previous adjudication of guilt or delinquency for any criminal charges, or as listed under Florida Statutes, Sections 943.0585, 943.0584.
  • No ongoing petition for expungement in any court in Florida
  • You were found not guilty or acquitted by a judge or jury
  • The case against you was dismissed, dropped, or any variation thereof, or you were granted participation in programs like Pretrial Diversion (PTD) or Pretrial Intervention (PTI).
  • The case received a nolle pros declaration.

To check your eligibility for expungement in Florida, click here. Eligibility results in under 2 minutes!

Do I Qualify?

Find out if you are eligible for expungement by taking our 5-min test below

7 Benefits of Felony Expungement in Florida

Discover how felony expungement can empower you to reclaim your life, and explore the numerous advantages it brings. Felony expungement offers several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Employment Opportunities with better pay
  • Improved Housing acceptance process
  • Peace of Mind and Reduced Stigma during background checks
  • Protection of Personal Information
  • Enhanced Educational Opportunities
  • Restoration of Firearm Rights
  • Improved Professional Licensing acceptance process

Contact our expungement lawyers in Florida today and understand how to expunge a felony!

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What Felonies Can Be Expunged in Florida?

Which felonies can be expunged in florida? Generally, non-violent, and less serious felonies are more likely to be eligible for expungement. To be specific, here’s a list of felonies eligible for expungement in Florida:

Third-degree felonies

Third-degree felonies such as grand theft, certain types of fraud, and possession of controlled substances are qualified for expungement. However, take note that not all third-degree felonies are eligible. 

First-time offenders

No matter what kind of felony, if it happened to be your first offense and you are proven innocent, there's a high chance that you are eligible for expungement.

Drug offense

Your first-time drug possession offense after you finish a drug court program can qualify for expungement.

Take note that not all felonies can be expunged in Florida. However, eligibility criteria may vary, so it's essential to consult with legal experts to determine if your specific felony conviction qualifies. 

How To Expunge a Felony in Florida

Erase The Case makes clearing your record in Florida easy. Here's a simple guide on how to get a felony expunged:

Step 1: Checking Eligibility 

Know the eligibility criteria for expungement in Florida. Click here and find out if you qualify for expungement with our free, 100% accurate, and automated eligibility test in only 2 minutes.

Step 2: Gathering Essential Documents 

Once you establish eligibility, collect the required documents and information for your expungement application. This typically includes court records, arrest records, probation records (if applicable), and personal identification.

Step 3: Completing the FDLE Application 

Download the application for expungement according to Florida's legal requirements. Ensure your FDLE application is notarized for Certification of Eligibility to Expunge your case. 

But with Erase the Case, we will provide all the necessary documents for your expungement in what we call the ‘expungement packet.’

If you are from Pinellas County, access the forms here.

Step 4: Submitting to the State Attorney's Office 

Send your application to your respective county's State Attorney's Office personally or via mail. Wait for their review, focusing on 'Section B' completion.

Step 5: Forwarding to FDLE 

Submit the filled application to the FDLE, ensuring you've attached all necessary documents.

The FDLE will then proceed to either approve or deny your application. If it gains approval, they will issue a "Certificate of Eligibility" promptly.

However, if your application faces denial or requires additional records, the FDLE will communicate the necessary steps accordingly.

Step 6: Preparing "Petition and Affidavit" 

With your "Certificate of Eligibility," prepare the "Petition and Affidavit to Expunge Your Criminal Record."

Step 7: Filing the Petition with the Court

Submit these documents to the appropriate County Clerk of the Circuit Court where your case was processed:

  • original petition
  • affidavit, and 
  • FDLE Certificate of Eligibility 

Make sure to forward duplicates of these submissions to the appropriate State Attorney's Office and the agency responsible for your arrest, adhering to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.692.

Step 8: Waiting for the State Attorney's Response 

The State Attorney's Office may respond differently depending on your case. If they contest it, you might need a skilled expungement lawyer. The Clerk typically sends the documents to the court if there are no objections. This can lead to a signed Order Expunging the Record within weeks. However, in some cases, the judge may schedule a hearing.

Step 9: Processing of Expungement/Sealing Court Order

There are 67 distinct counties in Florida, each with its own Clerk of Court. After your petition for expungement is approved and the order is signed, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that you contact the Clerk's Office. 

This step is crucial to verify that all fees and costs have been settled, enabling you to obtain certified copies and effectively remove your case from public visibility.

Also note that the entire expungement process might be complex and time-consuming. On average, it takes 5-7 months to complete an expungement in Florida. Therefore, remember to find a good lawyer so that you can be aware of the process and  fees.

How Long Does a Felony Stay on your Record in Florida?

Until a felony offense is expunged or sealed, it remains as a public  criminal record indefinitely in the State of Florida. This can have lasting negative consequences, affecting various aspects of your life, from employment opportunities to housing options, to your online reputation. For this reason, it is crucial to understand how to remove a felony from your record.

To understand more about how long a felony stays on your record, read this article

How Much Does It Cost To Expunge A Felony in Florida?

Expunging a felony offense in Florida can entail variable expenses, ranging from $270 to over $2,500. If you hire a lawyer, typical attorney fees range from $749 to $2,500, excluding additional costs associated with the expungement procedure.

At Erase the Case, we provide a budget-friendly, all-encompassing flat fee of just $995. This fee covers every facet of the process, offering the fastest and most comprehensive service in Florida and peace of mind.

Also Read: How Much Does Expungement Cost In Florida

How We Can Help Expunge Your Felony in Florida

At Erase the Case, we specialize in felony offense expungement cases in Florida. Our legal team understands the legal system's complexity and can lead you through every step of the expungement process.

We are dedicated to helping individuals like you regain control of their lives by erasing the past and building a brighter future. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility and how we can assist you.

See Also: How To Clear Up Your Background Check After Expungement and Sealing

FAQ

Can You Expunge 2 Felonies in Florida?

Yes, it is possible to expunge multiple felony convictions in Florida, but eligibility criteria must be met for each case. Consult with an expert attorney to assess your specific situation.

Does a Felony Go Away After 7 Years in Florida?

No, a felony conviction does not automatically go away after a certain period in Florida. It remains on your record until you take legal action to expunge or seal it.

What Do Felons Lose in Florida?

Felons in Florida may lose specific civil rights - the right to vote or possess firearms. However, these rights can often be restored through legal processes or gubernatorial pardons.

Does Florida Destroy Expunged Records?

Florida does not destroy expunged records but seals them from public view. Law enforcement agencies and select entities may still have access to sealed records for specific purposes.

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