florida record expungements attorney eric j dirga

Florida Expungement Lawyer

Since 2002, I’ve helped thousands of people expunge or seal their criminal arrest record throughout the State of Florida. In 2018, I wrote a book on how people can expunge their record without a lawyer. I am dedicated to helping people in this area of the law. Below I have provided information about expungement representation and included many links to my webpages (for more info see my Expungement FAQs page). My entire goal is to give people a second chance at life without a criminal record following them for the rest of their lives.

Providing Statewide legal representation for criminal arrest record expungements and sealings in all 67 Florida counties since 2002. Each County has its unique quirks and procedures regarding the expungement process. I keep track of the nuances between each County and Circuit, contact info, local rules, etc. so that the process for you is as smooth and cost effective as possible.

What My Representation Will Do For You:

  • Check if you qualify for free*.
  • Prepare all paperwork.
  • Represent you before The Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
  • Represent you before the State Attorney’s Office.
  • Represent you before the Court.
  • File all paperwork.
  • Answer all of your questions.

*You may be required to obtain a Florida criminal history through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE] which costs $24.

Whether You Live Here, Just Visited, or Moved Away

If you still live in Florida or moved out-of-state, or were just visiting, I can help you expunge your Florida arrest. Adult, juvenile, man, woman, many felonies or just about all misdemeanors – it doesn’t matter. I have done these for people who live in my same neighborhood and for people in other countries.

Getting Your Expungement Started

Getting your Florida record expungement or sealing started cannot be easier! Just follow the steps below.

Time needed: 5 minutes

To get started, follow this guide or simply submit your information in the form below.

  1. Do you qualify?

    Qualifying used to be easy to figure out. Today, after the new law came into effect on October 1, 2019, figuring it out may be a little more complicated. The good news is that more people will qualify! You can go to our Expungement Qualification Page or let us figure it out for you (see #5 below).

  2. Can you “expunge” or “seal” your record?

    Florida has two methods of erasing your record. You either qualify to have your record expunged or sealed. Both will give you many protections. You can learn more about this on our What is an Expungement, or you can let us figure it out (see #5 below).

  3. How Much Does It Cost?

    The are required costs outside of a legal fee for the work of an attorney. These include the cost for documents, the FDLE fee, and the court costs/filing fee. Go to our Expungement Fees and Costs page to find out exactly how much these costs are. As of January 1, 2022, all the costs will be included in the legal fee.

  4. How long does an expungement or sealing take?

    The amount of time varies due to many reasons. Typically, it takes between 6 and 12 months but can be longer. I have written about these variables on my blog post about the time it takes to expunge a record.

  5. Send us your information through our contact form below and we can figure all this out for you.

    Just scroll down to our contact form below and send us your name and email address (include your cell number if you don’t mind us texting you) and we will send you information about our services. We do the rest!

When you send us your information we do not put you on any mailing lists or share your information with anyone. See our privacy policy for more information.

Benefits of an Expunged Record

The benefits of a criminal arrest record expungement or sealing are numerous. It is the only legal method to get your official arrest record off the internet and give you the legal benefits found in the law. It is not a magic bullet, but it is the first and biggest step to moving on from a past arrest.

What Does an Expungement Cost

The costs include the payment to the lawyer, the costs for things such as certified copies of the case file, FDLE Fee, Clerk and Court costs. Most of these costs are included in my fee. I have several payment plans. These I have detailed it on my Florida Expungement Costs page.

After Your Criminal Record Is Expunged

VERY IMPORTANT: To take full advantage of the law’s protections, you still have a few things to do after your record has been sealed or expunged. Please take the time to read this page because it helps you take advantage of the law once your record has been expunged or sealed.

Other Options

There are other options available that you can use to address problems with your criminal record. Not all issues have to be addressed by expungement. As a Florida Expungement Lawyer, I have helped people achieve their goals in alternative ways when eligibility issues arose.

Correcting Your Record

You may just need to correct your criminal record. Wrong information posted or missing information has devastating effects. See also, FDLE’s website (you may not need a lawyer).

Juvenile Expungements

Juvenile arrest on your child’s criminal history? Will it affect his or her journey to adulthood, college, employment? Find out if a juvenile record expungement is something you should consider.

Administrative Expungements

Arrested by mistake? Sometimes people get arrested because their name is similar to someone else’s. Understand how a mistaken arrest can be administratively expunged. This is not for people whose case has gone to court.

Civil Injunction Sealing

It may be possible to have a civil injunction “sealed” by the court (only the court) so that it cannot seen on Clerk Websites or that your name is reduced to initials on those Clerk of Court records. It is a process through Rule of Judicial Administration 2.240. It is not a guaranteed process and it can be denied.

Requirements for my consideration to represent you are:

  • The injunction for protection must have been denied or dismissed.
  • My fee is all upfront and is dependent on the County where this occurred.
  • No refunds once the fee is paid.

Florida Expungement Frequently Asked Questions

Understand that law is not like math. There are no hard and fast answers to any legal questions. Below I try to answer common Florida expungement and sealing questions in easily understandable terms and as accurately as possible. That being said, all answers are subject to change due to your unique circumstances and the fluidity of the law.

How do I qualify to have my Florida arrest record expunged or sealed?

Florida statutory determines what records qualify for these procedures. The result of the arrest has to have been dismissal of the charges or the disposition must meet certain criteria. I will see if you qualify for free. See, Expungement Qualifications for more details.

How much does it cost to expunge or seal my Florida record?

There are fixed costs and there are legal fees (if you decide to hire a lawyer). The fixed costs include such things as the cost of a notary, fingerprinting costs, and court costs, just to name a few. Legal fees vary depending on the attorney. For complete details, see my Expungement Fee and Costs.

Can I expunge or seal my arrest record for free?

You cannot seal or expunge your record for free. There are costs involved even if you do not hire a lawyer, such as notarization costs, fingerprint costs, FDLE fee, Court costs, etc. See Free Record Expungement.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to expunge or seal my Florida record?

A lawyer is a person educated in the law, who is licensed to represent other people before the courts. Anyone can represent themselves. Due to the ever more complexities within the law it may not be advisable to represent yourself in certain situations because a minor mistake may forego you chance to try again. However, if you only have one arrest, I have written a book to help people do this on their own. See, Do You Need an Expungement Lawyer.

Can I have a payment plan to pay for your representation?

Yes. We split the payments into three equal payments over the course of representation. We also offer several fee options. Please see our expungement fees page.

Can I pay an Attorney more money to get my expungement or sealing done faster?

No. The speed in which this is done depends on how fast your attorney works and how fast you respond to returning the necessary paperwork. It also depends on how fast County Clerks and FDLE personnel return the required paperwork. Finally, it depends on how fast and with what requirements the Court will sign the order.

How long does a record expungement or sealing take in Florida?

The answer to this fluctuates. Currently, it is taking between 5-8 months to start and finish a record expungement or sealing. It depends a lot on haw fast you can get your fingerprints and notarizations done. I wrote extensively on this in How Long Does a Florida Expungement Take because other attorneys were making ridiculously short claims.

How long does it take for your record to “clear” after the court grants an expungement?

There is no exact answer to this question. Once ordered the Clerk of Court must execute the order. However, if court costs are due, those must be paid first. Agencies that are affected by the order must execute it once notice has been given to them. The time it takes to do all of these things is not precise. See my webpage about who gets notified once your expungement is ordered.

Can I expunge or seal my Florida arrest if I live out-of-state??

Yes. You do not have to live in the State of Florida to have a Florida criminal arrest record sealed or expunged. You do not even have to live within the country. Millions of people each year visit Florida. People get arrested while visiting Florida and then return home. You do have to use Florida law and procedure to achieve this. The law applies to everyone.

Where can I find the Florida expungement and sealing statute?

By looking on the Florida Online Statutes you will be able to look up each statute. The expungement statute is section 943.0585 and the sealing statute is in section 943.059.

If I want to try to expunge or seal my own record, are there resources that I can use?

Yes. There are websites that provide some information. These are typically Clerk of Court websites. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website is also particularly helpful. Be aware that once you start this process, neither agency can help you. I wrote a book called “Erase Your Record” that tries to fill in the gaps for people trying to do this themselves. It can be found on Amazon.

Can a Felony be expunged or sealed in Florida?

The answer is yes but not all. If the charges were dropped and you otherwise qualify, any felony can be expunged. However, if the charges were not dropped, many but not all felonies can be sealed. See Section 943.0584 that specifies charges that cannot be “SEALED”.

What are the benefits of a Florida Record Expungement?

The answer to this is “everything.” Having a criminal record expunged or sealed takes your record off official government websites, makes it a non-public record, and you are legally allowed to deny the arrest ever occurred. These are just a few of the benefits. See What is a Florida Expungement.

Can I become a teacher if I expunge my record?

The answer is yes, however you would have to disclose your record to all potential employers. Because this question is complex, I have written several posts on this subject. Please review Can You Teach with a Record, An Arrest, a Background Check, and Your Job, Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks, and Your Criminal Record and Your Job.

What crimes can be expunged in Florida?

Any offense that you were arrested for can be expunged provided that all charges were dropped, dismissed, or found not guilty after a trial, and you have never had a previous arrest record expunged or sealed in Florida, and you have never been adjudicated guilty (convicted) of a criminal offense in Florida.

What crimes can be sealed in Florida?

Any offense can be sealed except those specified in section 943.0584. Those offenses cannot be sealed, even if adjudication was withheld. These are listed on FDLE’s website and I written about sexually motivated offenses.

What is the difference between sealing a record and expunging a record?

Many of the benefits are the same but there are minor differences. For example, an expunged record must be destroyed while a sealed record is made confidential. Both are no longer public records. See What is a Florida Expungement.

Does my criminal record “go away” or “disappear” after so many years?

The short answer is “no.” Your criminal history never disappears (unless expunged/sealed), however, some employers only look back in your history “so many years” and, therefore, it seems the record has disappeared or gone away.

Can I expunge (or seal) more than one charge in Florida?

Florida law allows for one arrest, or series of arrests for the same bad act, to be expunged or sealed. This would include all offenses that were charged for that arrest. You can expunge a juvenile arrest and still expunge an adult arrest under certain circumstances. Additionally, the legislature has made exceptions for Human Trafficking Victims and Lawful Self Defense.

Do I have to disclose an expunged (or sealed) record in Florida?

The rule is “no” you don’t have to disclose a record that has been expunged or sealed under Florida law. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule that you need to know. For more information see “entitled entities” on FDLE’s Expunge Section website.

When can you expunge (or seal) a record in Florida after the case is over?

Florida law does not require a waiting period before you can move to expunge or seal your record. You must have completed all requirements of the court, to include any probation, but as soon as the case has been resolved you can start.

For More Information

Please submit your information below. We will email you information about our record expungement and sealing representation.

We will not harass you with calls, emails, or texts.
We will not place you on a mailing list.
We will not share your information with anyone.

We will add you to our contacts so we know who you are when we communicate in the future. For more information, see our privacy policy.

Additional Information Regarding Arrest Records

Check out our blog posts. Most concern expungements and sealings. Some of the topics we have posted about include teaching with a record, level 1 and level 2 background checks, the history of the law, and more. You can search for specific keywords in the search function at the top of the page.

⚖ Legal References

Lawyer stuff. Florida statutes, administrative code, and case law regarding the expunging and sealing of criminal records.

Rating: 5 out of 5.