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Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Criminal Defense > An Outline of the Florida Expungement Process

An Outline of the Florida Expungement Process


Having a criminal record can be a significant impediment for people, impacting their employment opportunities and housing options. To better their position, some Floridians move to have their crime history expunged, a legal process that allows them to clear their criminal record. Not everyone is eligible for the expungement process, but under certain circumstances it is possible.

To learn more about expungement eligibility, speak to a skilled Clearwater criminal lawyer. If you are a good candidate for the process, your attorney can help you access the invaluable benefits of having a clean record.

What Are the Steps for Expungement?

The Florida expungement process is a chance for individuals to move beyond their past and build a brighter future. But as is true with many legal processes, there are specific steps that need to be followed.

  • The first crucial step in the expungement process is determining eligibility. In Florida, not all offenses can be expunged. Generally, individuals may be eligible if they were arrested but not charged, charges were dismissed, there was an acquittal after trial, or they completed a pre-trial diversion program. Serious offenses, such as violent crimes or sexual offenses, typically do not qualify.
  • Filing a petition. If it is determined a person is eligible, the next step is filing a petition for expungement. This is a formal request to the court in the jurisdiction where the arrest occurred. Details about the arrest, charges, and case resolution need to be included in the petition.
  • Petition review. The submitted petition undergoes a thorough review, it is assessed by law enforcement agencies and the State Attorney’s Office who look over the petitioner’s criminal history, the nature of the offense, and other relevant factors. If the petition meets the needed criteria, it may be recommended for approval.
  • Court hearing. While not always required, some cases go through a court hearing where a petitioner presents their case before a judge. When this happens, it is an opportunity for the petitioner to explain why expungement is justified and how having a clean record will positively impact their life.
  • Order of expungement. When a petition is approved, a court will issue an order of expungement which instructs relevant agencies to seal and destroy records related to the arrest.

It is an investment of time and energy, but if you are able to obtain a clean record it will improve job prospects, open housing opportunities, and give you access to professional licenses. Plus, perhaps the largest benefit, expungement can give you peace of mind. Having a clean record allows individuals to move forward without the constant reminder of past mistakes, promoting personal growth.

How Can a Florida Criminal Attorney Help?

To learn more about the expungement eligibility criteria and filing the necessary petitions, consult with a knowledgeable Clearwater criminal lawyer. If your case applies, attorneys can walk you through the steps you need to take to move through the expungement process successfully.

Should you consider working to clear your record? Speak to the attorneys at King Law Group about how to improve your future. Schedule your free consultation today.

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