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Expungement in Florida

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Expunge or Seal Your Florida Criminal Records 
If you have been arrested in Florida and you were found innocent at trial, received deferred adjudication, or if your charges were dropped before trial, you may be eligible to have your expungement of Florida record sealed. However, if you were convicted of a crime, or were found guilty at trial, you are not eligible to have your Florida record expunged or your record sealed. Make sure that your case is for Expungement and not expunged off, exponged, or exspunge.

Benefits of Record Expungement in Florida

  • Sealing gets the arrest and case record off of your record.
  • Having your record sealed allows you to tell potential employers that you have not been arrested.
  • Once your record is sealed you may become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates.
  • Sealing your Florida criminal rcord can greatly improve your earning capacity by opening countless job opportunities.
  • Once your criminal record is sealed you can top beinging embarrassed when someone does a background check on you.
  • You may become eligible for more and better student loans.
  • You may become eligible for more and better housing assistance and opportunities.

Tell friends and family that you have not been arrested or had a court case

When an expungement is given in Florida, the expunged criminal record will not show up in any criminal background checks. This applies to various counties and cities such as Tallassee, Jacksonville, and Miami. If you apply for any Florida law enforcement job, the Department of Juvenile Justices, the Department of Education, a contractor or licensee dealing with children, a public or private school, or the Florida Bar Association, these agencies will see a statement that shows your Florida record has been expunged.

They serve all Florida counties and cities including: Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Clearwater, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Key West, and Tallahassee.

If you cannot afford an attorney, contact the Florida State Bar and ask for sources of free or low cost legal help,

“Stand Your Ground” Laws in Florida

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Florida stand your ground protest

Stand Your Ground photo by LaDawna Howard

“Stand your ground” laws, self-defense laws, have always been a subject of debate, since the person defending themselves must be able to prove that he or she was acting in self-defense. “Stand your ground” laws may vary from state to state, but generally allows an individual to use force, rather than retreat when being threatened. “Stand your ground” allows an individual to protect himself or herself when facing imminent danger until law enforcement arrives. Because the terms of the law are so subjective, “stand your ground” laws can be easily abused or misconstrued, making a law that was intended to give individuals a right to defend themselves very controversial.

“Stand your ground” laws in the state of Florida are as follows:

“A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Title XLVI Florida Statues s.776.013(3)

Factors to take into consideration in addition to the Florida law as it is specifically laid out may include but are not limited to:

  • Who initiated the confrontation?
  • Whether the person evoking “stand your ground” pursed the victim?
  • Whether the person evoking “stand your ground” was on his or her own property when the incident occurred?
  • Whether a witness was present while the incident was occurring?
  • Whether there is physical evidence to prove that evoking the “stand your ground” law was necessary?
  • Details of what caused the case (home invasion, rape, black-market trade gone bad, etc.)

“Stand Your Ground” Laws Outside of Florida

“Stand your ground” laws were created with the intention to allow an individual to justifiably defend themselves, meaning that if you feel that your life is in danger, that you may “stand your ground” by defending yourself. 32 states within the United States observe “stand your ground” laws in one form or another. Generally, the law stipulates three main points:

  • You have the right to self-defense if you or someone else is in imminent danger
  • You have good reason to believe that immediate use of force is necessary to defend against danger
  • You cannot use more force that is reasonably necessary to defend against danger

If your act of standing your ground met all three of these stipulations, you may be within your legal rights to protect yourself or another individual under “stand your ground” laws.

The states that observe a form of “stand your ground” laws are:
Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Criticism of “Stand Your Ground” Law

Criticisms of “stand your ground” usually entail commentary like, “shoot first, ask questions later.” The most recent event to nationally bring attention to the “stand your ground” law was the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case. 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot a 17-year-old African American student named Trayvon Martin while Zimmerman was on neighbor watch for his gated community, a position that Zimmerman appointed to himself. Zimmerman claimed that he acted in self-defense, and therefore, under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, was acquitted at his trial. Martin, however, was not carrying a weapon at the time that he was shot.

Naturally, after State of Florida v. George Zimmerman, there has been high demands to not only amend but to repeal “stand your ground” laws. The argument is that anyone can claim that they felt that their life was in danger. There is also the question of how far is too far? Stand your ground is meant to protect individuals who have had to protect themselves by use of force, usually a form of violent force. The ends, however, need to justify the means.

Expunging Your Charge

If you were charged for committing a crime while attempting to protect yourself, you may be eligible to expunge your charge from your criminal record. Even if you were unable to claim “stand your ground” laws during the incident for which you were charged, you might be able to expunge the offense from your criminal record, provided that your offense meets the requirements for expungement in Florida. Once your offense is expunged from your criminal record, your offense and the related case will no longer appear on your criminal record and you can legally say that you were not convicted of the crime.

Reasons to Expunge a Record in Miami

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Miami is the most populated city in Florida and is known for its resort like weather and beautiful beaches. If, however, you have a criminal record in Miami, you may not be able to enjoy all of the perks that Miami has to offer. An arrest by the Miami police force may give you a criminal record. A criminal record may be the reason that you are continually passed over for employment and housing. There are many reasons to expunge your Miami criminal record. By expunging an offense from your criminal record, you are ensuring that your offense does not show up on criminal background checks for employment and housing, which in turn may help you to create a more desirable life for yourself.

How a Criminal Record May be Preventing you from Expanding your Career

Most employers today run background checks as part of the prescreening process. If you are unable to pass the background check, your application will most likely not even make it to human resources. Having a criminal background can prevent you from being considered for employment for which you are well qualified. Many employers cannot employ applicants with criminal records, and others will not simply because of the high level of competition in the workforce. With so many eligible people looking for employment, having a criminal record is a good reason to eliminate an otherwise desirable candidate.

In particular, if you are looking for a career in any service field such as nursing, caregiving, education, the armed forces, or to be a peace officer, you cannot have a criminal record. Only under very limited circumstances may your application be reviewed so that you can explain the terms of your offense to the interviewer. Otherwise, a criminal record makes it very difficult to find employment in any of these service fields.

How a Criminal Record may be Preventing you from getting Desirable Housing

The same is true of trying to purchase or lease a house, apartment, or condo. Landlords also run background checks and are equally particular about to whom they rent or sell. Having a criminal record appear on your background check for housing may prevent you from being considered for that beautiful beachfront condo, or that chic Art Deco style South Beach apartment. Expunging an offense from your criminal record may help you to find better housing by showing relators and landlords that you would be a reliable tenant/homeowner.

Expunge a DUI Arrest in Orlando

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Florida dui arrest photo by Stephen C. Webster

Orlando is popularly known as theme park and tourist central, attracting over 50 million tourist a year, which is almost 10 million more tourist than New York receives per year. What many visitors fail to keep in mind while on vacation is that they are still responsible for their behavior and the consequences of their actions. If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be given a DUI, which could leave you with an offense on your criminal record. The DUI will stay on your criminal record until you actively have the DUI expunged.

Getting a DUI in Orlando could result in a misdemeanor or a felony on your criminal record, and having to pay fines and restitution depending on:

  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time the breathalyzer was given
  • The number of times you have been cited with a DUI, with fines and jail time increasing with every DUI given
  • If there was property damage incurred while driving under the influence
  • If anyone was injured or died as a result of you driving under the influence

How to Expunge your DUI in Orlando

If you were a resident of Orlando or just visiting during the time of your DUI, you will still have to petition for the DUI expungement with the same courthouse that oversaw the hearing for your DUI. Fortunately, even if you are no longer in the area, you can hire an Orlando based attorney to file the petition and all court documents for you. The attorney will also be able to go to court for you so that you may not have to return to Orlando at all during the DUI expungement process.

If you have a DUI in Orlando, the best way to have the offense expunged from your criminal record is to hire an experienced expungement attorney who is licensed to practice law by the Florida State Bar. While you always have the option to file motion for the DUI expungement on your own, hiring an expungement attorney is a worthwhile investment.

When choosing an attorney to represent you for your

Florida Voting Rights

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There are certain factors about your case that will determine if you are in possession of your right to vote. Below you will find a detailed description of these factors for voting rights in Florida.

In Florida, if you are eligible for an expungement or a sealing, then your voting rights have not been taken away and you can currently vote. In order to be eligible for an expungement, your charges would have had to been dropped before trail. To be eligible for a sealing, you would have had to receive withheld adjudication and successfully completed the program.

For either the expungement or the sealing to occur, you have to have zero convictions in Florida or in any other state.

If you are interested in determining your eligibility, call today for a free over-the-phone consultation at 877-573-7273 or visit our website at for your free eligibility test.  You can also call the Florida State Bar Association for information about help for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney or if you want recommendations on lawyers to hire for your expungement service..