Sealing criminal records

What if somebody as a minor was convicted of a misdemeanor in Florida, but has remained clean since, is an honors student and wants to go to medical school? How hard is it to have his criminal record expunged or sealed?

Florida law does allow one to have their criminal records expunged or sealed, but you would be well adviced to consult an attorney, as it’s not as simple as you might think. It all depends on the nature and circumstances of the criminal offense.

Normally, one would first need to apply to the FDLE in Tallahassee to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility before petitioning the court to seal or expunge the record. The person would need to meet specific criteria to receive this document.

The person would then need to submit a sworn affidavit (under penalty of perjury) that he/she has not been convicted of a criminal offense, has never sealed or expunged his record in the past and is eligible for the sealing.

You would then file your petition to seal the records in the appropriate court. Additional details are found under Chapter 943 of the Florida Statutes.

When one’s criminal records are sealed, that does not mean they are erased or deleted from existence. Sealed records may remain available to law enforcement, but they are just closed to everyone else out side of law enforcement. Ie: employers, schools, insurance companies, etc…

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