Tampa Expungement Lawyer

Expungement Lawyer Tampa

If you live in Florida and have a criminal record, you may be eligible for expungement. Expungement is a legal process that can help remove some of the negative impacts of having a criminal record. It is not available to everyone, but it can provide relief from the stigma of having a criminal record and open up new opportunities. Through expungement, certain offenses are sealed or removed from an individual’s criminal history forever.

Having a criminal record can prevent you from enjoying certain opportunities and privileges in life. Depending upon the charges, your previous charges may be preventing you from renting a home or apartment, enrolling in school, being hired for certain positions, and possibly even being denied the opportunity to chaperone school trips or coach little league for your kids. The law understands, however, that often it is the case that people make mistakes and learn from them, and expungement is a way to put those mistakes behind you once and for all. If your prior criminal record is getting in the way of your forward progress, contact a Tampa criminal attorney at Tampa Defense Law to find out if your charges qualify for expungement under Florida law.

What is Expungement?

The most basic definition of expungement means, simply, to remove or destroy records. This definition may be deceiving, however, in that criminal records that are sealed or expunged, though no longer available through general records, do remain accessible to the criminal justice system—the Florida Bar, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Board of Education, law enforcement, and perhaps a few other circumstances. Private or public entities, however, will not be able to access your record, which is helpful in the above-listed circumstances: housing, education, work, and volunteerism.

Eligibility Requirements

Some criminal records are not eligible for expungement, so it’s necessary to review the situation with a Tampa defense attorney before you attempt the process. The Tampa Defense Law team of criminal attorneys has ample experience with expungement under Florida law and can guide your decisions, as well as execute the necessary documents to move forward with expungement if your charges qualify. Also bear in mind that even if you currently live in Florida, expungement eligibility will be based on the laws governing the state or jurisdiction in which the charge originated.

Typically—though again, each state varies—requirements for expungement will involve most or all of the following to qualify: a waiting period after the incident and no incidents during that time; a limited number of prior incidents (as determined by each particular state’s laws); a charge that isn’t deemed too severe; the terms of any sentence or penalties were sufficiently fulfilled; no pending proceedings; that you were not convicted for the incident; and that probation, if applicable, was completed without incident. If you meet the requirements as set forth by the state of Florida, your criminal attorney will ensure that you are prepared with the appropriate documentation for your expungement hearing in Tampa court.

Benefits of Expungement

Expunging a criminal record is an invaluable option for those seeking a fresh start in Florida. An expungement allows individuals to eliminate their criminal records from public view, thereby allowing them to move forward with their lives. There are many benefits associated with having a criminal record expunged in the state of Florida.

One major benefit of expungement is improved access to employment opportunities. With an expunged criminal record, potential employers can no longer see any past offenses that may have been committed, thus reducing the chances of being discriminated against during the hiring process. Furthermore, when applying for certain scholarships or educational programs, applicants can rest assured that their eligibility will not be impacted by past convictions if they have had them expunged.

Another great benefit of having a criminal record expunged in Florida has improved housing prospects.

Steps to File for Expungement

Filing for expungement in the state of Florida can be a complex and time-consuming process. Expungement is the legal process of asking the court to seal records related to criminal charges, including arrest records, indictments, and convictions. By sealing these records, they are not accessible to potential employers or landlords during background checks.

The first step in filing for expungement is completing an application with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The application requires personal information such as your name, address, birth date, social security number, and other identifying information. You may also need to provide details about your criminal history such as case numbers and dates. Once you submit this information it will be reviewed by the FDLE which determines whether you are eligible for expungement or not.

The process of expungement in Florida requires completing several steps and filing court documents with the clerk’s office in the county where the arrest occurred. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout this complex process ensuring that all paperwork is filed correctly and all relevant facts are provided to help secure an expungement. With the right assistance, individuals may be able to move forward with their lives free from the restrictions of their past mistakes.

Common Misconceptions

The expungement of criminal records is a topic that can be highly misunderstood. Although it may sound like erasing the past, many people mistakenly believe that after expungement, their record no longer exists. This is one of the most common misconceptions about expungement.

Another misconception is that any criminal record can be eliminated through expungement. The truth is that each state has different laws regarding what records can and cannot be expunged and which convictions are eligible for this process. It’s important to research the laws in your state to determine what records can actually be erased and if you qualify for relief from a conviction before proceeding with an application for expungement.

The severity of the crime is taken into account when it comes to eligibility, and the most common crimes that are not eligible include felonies, first-degree misdemeanors, rape, sexual battery, corruption of a minor, sexual imposition, obscenity, or pornography involving a child. In some jurisdictions, limits on certain records do not exist; it is dependent upon the guidelines set by the state. You will need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with expungements to help you navigate the many complex guidelines that apply to your case.

In addition, some people think they can proceed with an application on their own without legal help or assistance from an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law.

Cost of Expungement

Florida residents can face a costly process when seeking an expungement. Expungements are court orders that require criminal records to be sealed, destroyed, or removed from a person’s public record. Generally, the cost of expungement varies depending on each individual case and the state they live in. In Florida, individuals may need to pay varying fees such as filing fees, service fees, and other related costs associated with the process.

In order for someone to have their conviction expunged in Florida, there is a fee of $75 that must be paid upfront. Furthermore, some counties require additional fees to cover the cost of services provided by local law enforcement for compiling records needed for the petition process.


Florida expungement offers a great opportunity for those who have had their rights and privileges of citizenship taken away due to criminal records. It allows them to start fresh without the stigma of a criminal record following them for the rest of their lives. Expungements offer individuals a chance for a better future and can help them in finding employment, housing, and other opportunities that may otherwise be denied due to their criminal record.

Though an individual may attempt to represent themselves in an expungement proceeding, in Florida it is highly advisable to have a Tampa criminal defense lawyer guide you and prepare your case. Tampa Defense Law has nine offices in Florida that offer 100 years of combined experience among their team of winning defense attorneys. Call to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your expungement options.