ERIC J DIRGA, PA

Erase Your Record*

Seal or Expunge

The Do-It-Yourself Florida Record Expungement Book

I have been sealing and expunging Florida criminal records for over twenty years. I have always tried to provide a good service at a reasonable price. I know that what I do is not rocket science (seal or expunge). I also know that, for me, sealing or expunging a record has become very easy because of repetition. I have sealed or expunged so many records that the process has been burned into my memory.

The Do-It-Yourself Person; No Lawyer Required

One of the things that concerned me was all the confusing information on the web that led so many do-it-yourself people into trouble. A simple search reveals information from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE], many Clerk of Court websites, and even some State Attorney websites that purport to provide information to help you seal or expunge your record.

Non-Lawyer Websites Are Helpful But Can Be Confusing

Some of these sites provide good information. For example, some Clerk of Court websites actually provide “approved” forms – saving people the headache of having to create them with a word processor. Some just provide links to FDLE’s website.

Misleading Limited Information

The concern is that by providing some information, a person trying to seal or expunge their own record may think that they can talk to someone from the Clerk’s Office and obtain more useful information and answers to their questions. This is a big problem and a big mistake. First, personnel working for the Clerk of Court cannot give legal advice. Only licensed attorneys can give legal advice. Despite this, people receive legal advice from these entities and, in my experience, it has always been bad.

My Example of Misadvice

I was recently told that I could not seal an arrest by the clerk who answered the phone when I called. I did not even ask the clerk a direct question but was freely told it couldn’t be done. He was absolutely wrong. It didn’t bother me because I knew the law and that was not the reason for my call. However, I thought about the person who calls that is trying to seal or expunge their own record. Someone in that position could hear this and simply give up.

Click on image to buy.

There Should Be A Book To Help People

So I decided to write a book. A guide to help people seal or expunge their own arrest record without the need to hire a lawyer. It’s called “Erase Your Record”* and it is available today on Amazon and other book sellers (do a web search using “erase your record book eric dirga” and it should be on the top of the search list). It took me around 9 months to write. I had a lot of help from my friends at the VIP Law Firm who helped me get this published in a very professional way.

Seal or Expunge Single Misdemeanor Arrest

It is written from the perspective of a person with a single misdemeanor arrest. It can be helpful for people with multiple arrests or a felony arrest however I encourage those people to first consult with a lawyer first.

Cheap, Helpful, and Bailout Information

The book is relatively cheap, is filled with helpful information, and – if the going gets too tough – it has useful “bailout” information to help you decide if it is time to talk to a lawyer. This is not rocket science and no one should be fooled into paying too much for this service – especially when, with a little effort and determination, you can probably do this yourself.

Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

Attorney Eric J. Dirga has been sealing and expunging criminal arrest records since the late ’90s. He has provided this service to hundreds of people and continues to help people clear their record. He is available as a speaker and will talk to anyone who will listen about the importance of putting a youthful mistake in the past for a better tomorrow.

To Contact

*”Erase Your Record” is the property of Dirga Products, LLC.

What To Do When Involved in a Car Accident

Everyday people are involved in car accidents. Hopefully it is not you! But if it was, would you know what to do immediately following the accident? My guess is that most people do not because the law is boring to read and no one really has the time to do all the research over something they hope never occurs. So below I try to explain what the law requires if you are in an accident and hopefully in a way that is not as boring as the statutory language… just remember “report the accident.”

Previously published on Eric J Dirga, PA blogger account on April 16, 2014.


Did I just hit that car?

I will skip over the obvious – if an accident occurs and there has been a death or serious bodily injury you have to remain at the scene, render aid, and call the police and emergency response personnel (911). If you don’t bad things will happen.

Let’s say you are in the typical accident, there is damage to property, and it is too early to tell if anyone is injured because you are all walking around filled with adrenaline. If neither car is operable you will be staying around. You could run but an easy check of the Vehicle Identification Number is going to be the path law enforcement takes to track you down and charge you with Leaving The Scene – you don’t want that.

I damaged someone’s property!

So you have damaged someone’s property, in this case their car but it could be a mailbox or some other property. The law (section 316.061, Fla. Stat.) requires that you stop and remain at the scene. If the vehicles are obstructing traffic you have to do you best to SAFELY move the vehicles out of the path of traffic (section 316.071, Fla. Stat.). If you alone cannot move the vehicle then you must try and solicit help from others. Only do this if it is safe. I would suggest taking pictures first but don’t wait too long – those people you are blocking want to get to where they are going now and you are inconveniencing them.

Vehicles are moved – Can I go now?

Okay, you have moved the vehicles and traffic is moving smoothly. No rubbernecking or anything! Okay, there are a bunch of rubberneckers that just don’t care about the people behind them – THEY have to see what happened before they drive on and forget it. What do you have to do now?
According to the law (section 316.062, Fla. Stat. if your checking) you have to exchange information with the other driver or property owner (in case you ran over his mailbox). The information consists of the following:

  • Your legal name, not one made-up. (Section 316.067, Fla. Stat. makes it a crime to deliberately lie to the police in this situation.)
  • Your correct address.
  • The registration number of the vehicle you were driving.
  • And, if requested, present your driver’s license or permit to drive.

That is all to the other person(s) involved in the crash. When law enforcement arrives you will also have to give all that information to the police (and they will request your driver’s license). Additionally, the police will require that you share your insurance information (section 316.070, Fla. Stat.) with the other parties and with him.

Hey, no police arrived? What now?

This would be a rare situation. But, let’s say it happens. If you have shared all the above information with the other people involved in the accident you should be okay to leave unless there has been a death or injury or the property damage is $500 or more (section 316.065, Fla. Stat.). If there was a death, injury, $500 or more in property damage, or you cannot share the information with those others involved in the accident (for whatever reason) then you must immediately go to the nearest police agency and report the crash (or call using your cell phone – some of these statutes are old school).

I don’t want to talk to the police ’cause they may arrest me!

Well, that may seem like a valid reason to stay quiet however, during an accident investigation, you are required to cooperate fully with law enforcement and report the accident. They have a lot to put in their report (section 316.066, Fla. Stat.). Nothing said during that accident investigation can be used against you in a criminal case (or traffic hearing for that matter).

If, however, the police say something like “I’m concluding my accident investigation and now I am starting my criminal investigation…” and then they read you your rights – that’s the signal to be quiet. You probably won’t but that is the time to invoke your right to remain silent. I suggest saying “Okay, I will invoke my right to remain silent and want an attorney present on my behalf during any further questioning of me.”

Hey, I damaged some property but no one is around to give my information to!

Yikes! You hit a parked car and no one is around to exchange information with. Can you just leave? No, they have thought of that possibility too (section 316.063, Fla. Stat.). In a case where the property is unattended you have to  do the following to report the accident:

  • Immediately stop – suppress that urge to drive away!
  • Try to locate the owner of the property (and if located exchange the information noted above).
  • If not located, securely and conspicuously place on the damaged property the information required above.
  • Finally, you have to call the police and report the accident. If you don’t they will hunt you down and arrest you for leaving.

Hey, I was knocked out and taken to the hospital. I can’t report this or exchange information!

Yes, they have thought of that too. And you are right – you do not have to report the accident or exchange information in that scenario. Odds are the police will find you and get the information at that time. If there were other people in your car during the accident that are not injured they will be required to exchange the information and cooperate with the accident investigation.

If there were no others in the car, the police did not find you, then within 10-days of the accident the owner of the vehicle (that could be you) has to report the accident. If you are the owner and due to the accident still cannot report the accident within 10-days you will have to report it at your earliest ability.

Today, that rarely happens. The police will find you at the hospital and take care of that requirement.


Please note the date this article was published. The information listed above is subject to change as changes are made to the laws. The information written above is meant only to be for Informational Purposes Only and is not legal advice.

If any corrections or errors are found please notify me as soon as possible.

has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1995. His office is Eric J. Dirga, PA, located online in Orlando, FL. He provides legal representation for traffic issues throughout the state of Florida.

Traffic Tickets: 30-days, Late fees, and DL Suspensions

Traffic Tickets And The 30-Day Window

Previously published on Eric J Dirga’s blogger account May 6, 2016.

When you receive a traffic ticket in Florida you are told (or you are notified by the content of the ticket) that you have options on how to handle the ticket. These options are called “elections.” The big three elections included in the 30-day window are:

  • Paying the ticket (Caution: may cause point suspension).
  • Going to driving school.
  • Setting ticket for a hearing.

All elections must be made within 30-days of receiving the ticket. If you fail to make an election within those first 30-days the following happens:

  • The Clerk of Court assesses a late fee.
  • The Clerk of Court notifies the Department [DMV] that you are late.
  • The DMV begins the process of suspending your license.

The DMV process to suspend your driver’s license begins when they are notified by the Clerk of Court that you have failed to make an election within the 30-day window. When the DMV receives this notice they do the following:

  • Send the Driver a letter to the last known address that they failed to make an election.
  • The letter will have a suspension date approximately 3-weeks in the future.

What you need to do to avoid the suspension

When you receive the DMV letter indicating that your driver’s license is about to be suspended you need to do the following:

  • Go to the Clerk of Court in the county where you received your ticket and pay the late fee.

If you do this before the suspension starts it will be removed and never start. If you have waited until after the suspension begins you will have to:

  • Go to the Clerk and pay the late fee.
  • Go to DMV and reinstate your driver’s license ($60).

If your license has been suspended do not drive. Driving with a suspended license can be a crime in Florida. You can check to see if your driver’s license is suspended online.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is the late fee must be paid to the Clerk of the Court even if your ticket is dismissed. If you do not act within the 30-day window you are assessed a late fee.

Additionally, you need to keep your address on your driver’s license and your vehicle(s) registrations up-to-date. The DMV uses these addresses to notify you of any issues you need to take care of (as does all the toll agencies). The DMV website has information on how to change your address.


Please note the date this article was published. The information listed above is subject to change as changes are made to the laws. The information written above is meant only to be for Informational Purposes Only and is not legal advice.

If any corrections or errors are found please notify me as soon as possible.

has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1995. His office is Eric J. Dirga, PA, located online in Orlando, FL. He provides legal representation for traffic issues throughout the state of Florida.

The Application to Expunge and the Prosecutor

certificate of eligibility application

This will be the first in a series of blogs to address the key player’s roles in the Florida expungement process. This post will address the role of the reviewing prosecutor when he/she receives a Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE] application to expunge (the application is to seal or expunge but is not required to be signed by a reviewing prosecutor if the applicant is only seeking to seal their record). In order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to expunge a record, the State Attorney or Statewide Prosecutor must sign off on the application.

Application to Expunge Florida Record

In order for an applicant (a defendant seeking to have his or her record expunged) to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to Expunge from FDLE the application must be signed by the State Attorney’s Office. The signature is not required if the applicant is seeking to seal his or her record.

Florida Administrative Code 11C-7.006

Florida Administrative Code 11C-7.006 simply indicates that “[t]he appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor should complete section B of the Application for Certification of Eligibility and have it certified.” This is typically delegated to a reviewing prosecutor within the office.

The Application to Seal or Expunge a Record

The application instructs the reviewing prosecutor to sign indicating that the applicant is eligible to have his record expunged under the following circumstances:

  1. An indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or issued in the case; OR
  2. An indictment, information, or other charging document, if filed or issued in the case, was dismissed or nolle prosequi by the state attorney or statewide prosecutor, or was dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction; OR
  3. (a) None of the charges (acts) related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application for certificate of eligibility to expunge pertains resulted in an adjudication of guilt or of delinquency; AND
    (b) The record of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application for certificate of eligibility to expunge pertains has been sealed for at least 10 years; AND
    (c) None of the charges (if any) for which adjudication of guilt or of delinquency was withheld relates to a violation of s. 393.135, s. 394.4593, s. 787.025, chapter 794, s.796.03, s. 800.04, s. 810.14, s. 817.034, s. 825.1025, s. 827.071 chapter 839, s.847.0133, s. 847.0135. s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, s. 916.1075, a violation enumerated in s.907.041, or any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator pursuant to s. 775.21, without regard to whether that offense alone is sufficient to require such registration, or for registration as a sexual offender pursuant to s.943.0435.

Signing Does Not Indicate the Position of the State Attorney

By indicating with signature that the applicant is eligible based on the above criteria, the application specifically states that the prosecutor’s signature “does not imply that the applicant has satisfied all other statutory eligibility criteria, or that this Office would not oppose a petition to expunge the above-referenced case.” In other words, the processing of the application is strictly administrative and does not reflect the position of the State Attorney’s Office.

Indicating Ineligibility Based on Statutory Requirements

The reviewing prosecutor can also sign the application indicating that the applicant is not eligible to have his or her record expunged due to the following criteria:

  • One or more of the charges (acts) related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application for certificate of eligibility to expunge pertains resulted in an adjudication of guilt or of delinquency;
  • OR, BECAUSE OF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
    • The record of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application for certificate of eligibility to expunge pertains has not been sealed for at least 10 years;
    • One or more of the charges for which an adjudication of guilt or of delinquency was withheld relate to a to a violation of s. 393.135, s. 394.4593, s. 787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s.800.04, s. 810.14 s. 817.034, s. 825.1025, s. 827-071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135, s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, s. 916.1075, a violation enumerated in s. 907.041, or any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator pursuant to s. 775.21, without regard to whether that offense alone is sufficient to require such registration, or for registration as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435;
    • Records available to this Office disclose some other ground of statutory ineligibility (e.g., adjudication of guilt in a different case; previous expunction or sealing).

Signing the application indicating that the applicant is not eligible to expunge is based on statutory requirements. Regardless of how the prosecutor signs off, FDLE will again review the eligibility of the applicant when it receives the application.

Role of Reviewing Prosecutor

The role of the reviewing prosecutor is simple. Either sign the application indicating that the applicant is eligible or that the applicant is ineligible based on statutory criteria. It cannot be based on arbitrary reasons. The reviewing prosecutor should return the application to the applicant in a reasonable amount of time (applicant is responsible for providing a self-addressed stamped envelope).

Application for Certificate of Eligibility is Not Void if Ineligible to Expunge

If the reviewing prosecutor indicates that the applicant is not eligible to have his or her record expunged and the applicant is otherwise qualified to have the record sealed – the application itself is still good. The applicant can send it along with the supporting documentation to FDLE in order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to Seal the record.

Continue reading about Expunging Your Florida Record, the Florida Expungement Packet and Do-It-Yourself Florida Expungements.


Please note the date this article was published. The information listed above is subject to change as changes are made to the laws. The information written above is meant only to be for Informational Purposes Only and is not legal advice.

If any corrections or errors are found please notify me as soon as possible.

has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1995. His office is Eric J. Dirga, PA, located online in Orlando, FL. He provides representation for sealing and expunging criminal records throughout the state of Florida.