I have been working with sealing and expunging criminal records since 1997. I keep the expungement cost to a minimum to provide the best service at the lowest price. I provide a service that, except for some initial paperwork, is completely handled by my office. This gives you the freedom to go on with your life knowing that your sealing or expungement is being professionally handled.
How Much Does An Expungement Cost?
The total expungement cost to you varies depending on the legal fees charged, the county where the arrest occurred, the nature of the charge, etc. Below I have gone over most of the “fixed” costs and the legal fees I charge. This should give you a good idea of how much an expungement of sealing will cost you. Before I charge anyone seeking to seal or expunge their arrest record I make sure they qualify. There is no reason any attorney cannot do this for you.
Let’s Make Sure You Qualify Before Spending A Dime
Before we ask you for a legal fee we want to make sure you qualify to have your record sealed or expunged. By
qualifying we mean that the information we get from you and other sources meets the requirements to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.
It is to your benefit to know whether you qualify before you spend time and money on this – there is no benefit to incur the expungement cost if, right from the beginning, you do not qualify. This requires information from you and double-checking with available resources. I cannot guarantee that the information gathered and relied on from you or any source is accurate, however, I will be able to explain any caveats that we encounter.
What does the Expungement Cost
-The Legal Fee
The legal fee is what I charge to perform this service and represent you in Court. The total legal fee I currently charge is $889. I break this down into payments. The minimum initial fee to get started is $389. The process takes about 4-6 months to obtain a “Certificate of Eligibility.” When that is received the remaining legal fees are due. I will try to remind you about 2 months into the process that you can make a payment (usually $250) so that you are not stuck having to make the remaining $500 payment all at once.
The initial fee is up to you. I require a minimum $389 to start. However, I give the option to pay $464 to start and the remaining $425 once the Certificate of Eligibility arrives. The final option is to pay the entire legal fee up front ($889).
This includes certified copies of existing documents you may need for your records after your case has been sealed or expunged.
NOTE: On January 1, 2018, the fees may change increase slightly in order to remove the travel fee. I’m still working on the details.
The costs are expenses required to be paid outside the legal fee. These include the Florida Department of Law Enforcement fee, costs for notary services, cost for fingerprints, the filing fee or court costs, and the travel fee if a hearing is required.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement requires a $75 processing fee when we submit the paperwork for your Certificate of Eligibility. This must be in the form of a money order made out to F.D.L.E. for $75 or you can pay my office the $75 and we can write a business check that is acceptable to the Department. We will let you know when this is due.
-Notary and Fingerprinting
One of the first things that you will receive once you have hired us is a seal or expunge packet. This currently includes the three documents you need to have notarized and a fingerprint card that you must take to a law enforcement agency and have your fingerprints taken. You must pay for the notarization and fingerprint costs. If you are local we can do the notarizations for you for free.
-Court Costs or Filing Fees
Court costs are typically paid upon filing the petition (filing fee) or after the court has granted your criminal record expungement or sealing. This typically costs between $45-$100. If you still owe money in the underlying case (court costs, restitution, fines) these will have to be paid before the court will grant the petition. The court costs may be higher if the case involved co-defendants.
If a hearing is required there is a cost for travel depending on how far the travel will be. My office is in Orlando, a fairly centralized location for Florida, so we can usually keep travel costs down. Don’t forget, often times the court does not require a hearing. No hearing, no costs.
However, if a hearing is required it is important that I attend the hearing for you in order to preserve a record for appeal if necessary. Travel costs run from $100 – $750 depending on the county. You can ask what the travel fee will be if there is a hearing in your particular case or see below for the current list.
Another option is to have me find an attorney to cover the hearing. This is usually between $100 and $200.
If You Want More Information
Please fill out the form below. I try to reply within 24 hours excluding weekends, holidays, and vacations.
Travel Fees By County
Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia, Brevard = No travel fee.
Polk, Sumter, Marion, Putnam, Flagler = $195.
Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin = $250.
Alachua, Levy, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, De Soto, Pinellas, Highlands, Okeechobee, Palm Beach = $295.
Broward, Nassau, Duval, Clay, Union, Baker, Columbus, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, Hendry = $350.
Miami-Dade, Madison, Taylor, Dixie, Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwannee = $395.
Collier, Monroe = $495.
All others = ask.