Speak With Our Attorneys –
Phone:  941-306-3230
Advocates For The Accused
Since 1993
McIntosh Law | Advocates for The Accused Since 1993

Speak With Our Attorneys –

Phone: 941-306-3230

How does expungement work?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | blog, Criminal Defense

When individuals find themselves burdened by a criminal record, they may seek opportunities to move forward outside the shadow of past mistakes.

Expungement allows a person to erase or seal their criminal record.

Eligibility criteria

Not everyone can benefit from expungement, and eligibility criteria vary by jurisdiction. In Florida, eligibility for expungement depends on the type of offense, the outcome of the case and the individual’s criminal history. Individuals with minor offenses, completed sentences and a clean post-conviction record stand a better chance.

Waiting periods

Before applying for expungement, individuals need to adhere to waiting periods mandated by the law. These waiting periods vary based on the severity of the offense and may range from a few months to several years. Those who seek expungement should maintain a clean record.

Application process

The journey to expungement begins with filing a petition with the appropriate court. This involves gathering documents, such as proof of completion of the sentence, records of good behavior and any other documents required by the specific jurisdiction. Attention to detail is important to a successful application.

Court hearing

During a hearing, a judge carefully reviews the case to evaluate the expungement’s justification. The individual seeking expungement needs to present their case convincingly, emphasizing rehabilitation and positive changes since the conviction.

Potential outcomes

After the court hearing, the judge may grant the expungement. This seals the record from the public. Alternatively, the judges could deny the expungement if they believe the individuals have not met the eligibility criteria or adequately demonstrated rehabilitation. In some cases, judges may also grant a partial expungement. This seals certain aspects of the criminal record.

Although these individuals may face significant challenges during the expungement process, a little patience can provide them with a second chance and an opportunity to regain their dignity.

FindLaw Network

Practice Areas