What Felonies Can Be Expunged in Florida?

David Weisselberger | January 25, 2024

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In the intricate criminal justice landscape, the prospect of expunging felonies in Florida becomes a hope for those seeking a fresh start. The question, “What felonies can be expunged in Florida?” opens a gateway to understanding the complexities and nuances of the expungement process in the Sunshine State. 

Beyond a mere legal procedure, expungement represents an opportunity for individuals to reclaim their lives by erasing or sealing certain criminal records. Now, let’s explore the path toward expungement.

Felony Expungement Requirement in Florida

Under Florida Statutes 943.0585, felony expungement in Florida is subject to stringent requirements to provide individuals with a chance to clear their criminal records.

felony expungement requirement
  • Eligibility Criteria: Completion of the full sentence, including probation and restitution.
  • Qualifying Offenses: Limited to non-violent crimes, excluding certain serious offenses.
  • Waiting Period: Varies from 5 to 10 years post-conviction, depending on the nature of the offense.
  • No Subsequent Convictions: Maintaining a clean record after the initial sentence is crucial.
  • One-Time Expungement: Florida law allows expungement only once in a person’s lifetime.
  • Court Approval: A judge’s approval is mandatory after petitioning the court.
  • No Adjudication of Guilt: Individuals must have received a withhold of adjudication.
  • Not Eligible for Sealing: Some offenses may not qualify for expungement but could be eligible for record sealing.
  • Compliance with Legal Procedures: Strict adherence to filing requirements and court procedures is necessary.
  • Background Check Waiver: A sworn statement confirming no prior expungements in Florida is typically required.

What Felonies Can Be Expunged in Florida?

Can you expunge a crime in Florida? Of course! Here are the crimes that can be expunged in Florida:

what crimes can be expunged in FL
  • Misdemeanors: Some misdemeanors may be eligible for expungement, depending on the specific offense.
  • Juvenile Records: Certain juvenile records may be expunged if the individual meets the criteria for eligibility.
  • Certain Felonies: Some non-violent felonies may be eligible for expungement under certain conditions.
  • Arrests Without Conviction: If there’s no conviction yet, you may be eligible to have those records expunged.

Read More: What Is A Felony? 5 Degrees of Felonies in Florida.

What Crime Can't Be Expunged in Florida?

So, you already know what crimes can be expunged in Florida. Now, here are the crimes that cannot be expunged in Florida:

  • Violent Felonies: Generally, crimes classified as violent felonies are not eligible for expungement.
  • Sexual Offenses: Convictions for sexual offenses are usually not eligible for expungement.
  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence): DUI convictions are typically not eligible for expungement.
  • Certain Drug Offenses: Drug trafficking and certain other serious drug offenses may not be eligible for expungement.
  • Domestic Violence Offenses: Convictions related to domestic violence may not be expungeable.
  • Repeat Offenses: Individuals with prior criminal records or those who have previously had records expunged may face limitations.

Expungement vs. Record Sealing: What Is The Difference?

Expungement and record sealing are distinct legal remedies that confer privacy but differ in their extent of erasure and accessibility:

expungements in florida

Expungement entails the destruction of records, rendering them invisible to the public. In contrast, record sealing restricts access but retains the records’ under seal,’ allowing law enforcement access for legitimate criminal justice purposes. 

Choosing between the two becomes critical for individuals navigating the complex terrain of criminal history expungement.

While these differences are pivotal, it’s noteworthy that record sealing provides similar legal benefits to expungement concerning record confidentiality and removal from public view.

How Long Can A Felony Charge Be Pending in Florida?

In Florida, a felony charge can be pending for 175 days. However, the exact duration can also be influenced by multifaceted factors:

how long can a felony charge be pending

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the Statute of limitations sets time constraints for filing charges, but for many felonies, there’s no time limit. Capital felonies, like murder, have no Statute of Limitations, enabling charges to be filed at any time.

Take note that the felonies in Florida are divided in classifications including 1st degree felony, 2nd degree felony, and 3rd degree felony. 

Prosecutor’s Discretion

Prosecutors wield discretion in deciding when and if to file charges. Considerations include the strength of the case, witness availability, and other legal considerations. This discretionary power can significantly impact the pending period.

Pre-Trial Process

The pre-trial process, involving investigations, negotiations, and motions, plays a pivotal role in extending the pending status of a case. The complexity of legal proceedings adds layers to the timeline.

Defendant’s Rights

While defendants have the right to a speedy trial, it doesn’t impose a specific time limit. Delays may occur due to various legal proceedings, ensuring the principle of jeopardy is upheld and preventing double prosecution for the same crime.

Legal Representation

Engaging experienced legal representation can expedite or resolve a case, ensuring the protection of an individual’s rights throughout the legal process.

How Can We Help

For individuals burdened by a criminal record affecting their future, taking the first step towards a clean slate is paramount. Our expungement attorneys are here to provide comprehensive sealing and expunging services in Florida. Contact us today to initiate the journey toward a brighter future.

FAQ

Do felonies go away after seven years in Florida?

No, a felony conviction doesn’t automatically vanish after a certain period. Legal action, through expungement or sealing, is necessary to remove it from the record.

How do I get a felony off my record in Florida?

To remove a felony from your record in Florida, expungement or sealing is required.

How long does a felony stay on your record in FL?

A felony conviction typically remains on the record permanently unless expunged or sealed. The Statute of limitations may depend on the felony classification.

How much does it cost to expunge a felony in Florida?

The cost of expunging a felony in Florida varies, ranging from $270 to over $2,500. Erase the Case offers a comprehensive, flat fee of $995, covering all aspects of the process, ensuring a swift and thorough service in Florida, and providing peace of mind.

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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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