Most of us are familiar with having a criminal record sealed or expunged. The process can take 3 to 6 months involves two court hearings and certified records obtained from The Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Most lawyers because of the work involved charge anywhere from 3 to 5 hours for the motions, letters, and court appearance at the hearings. Sealing and expunging has limited use today because so much of the information about our pasts is freely traded on the Internet. Having your record sealed and expunged in the courthouse is often never even found during background checks.

There is another method and it’s called administrative expunction. In many ways it is better than sealing and expunging because the net result is the record is administratively erased. Ask your South Florida criminal defense attorney to explain the distinction between an administrative expunction and a sealing and expunction.

Two years ago the law was amended to make it easier to obtain an administrative expunction. Previously you were required to obtain a letter from the police agency, which is often impossible to obtain. The amended statute permits the judge to enter an administrative expunction based on a finding that there was no basis for the arrest, or the arrest was a mistake. To have your record sealed and expunged requires only an application, but no proof of innocence; that is the critical distinction between sealing and expunging and administrative expungement.

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