A New Proposed Expungement Law In Florida

What Happens If SB488 and SB1612 Becomes Law

Eric Dirga is an attorney in Orlando practicing criminal record expungement and sealing law. You can contact him at 407-841-5555 or email him at ejdirga@ejdirga.com.

A proposed amendment to Florida's Record Sealing and Record Expungement law may mean that you will be able to expunge multiple cases. If the proposed amendment becomes law the effective date will be October 15, 2015. Sounds good but there are some changes that are not so good:

  • For judicial expungement and non-judicial sealings you will have to wait 1-year after your case is closed (supervision ended) before you can start.
  • AND THE BIG ONE: From the end of your case you want judicially expunged or non-judicial sealed to the day you apply for relief you cannot have been charged or arrested for any other offense.

The Big One

The Big One means if you have an old case you want sealed or expunged that is eligible under the current law but will be ineligible under the new law you need to start the process before September 2015.

Scenario: Big One

You were arrested for grand theft back in 2001. You resolved the case with a plea of no contest and you received a withhold of adjudication. In 2004 you ended your probation for the grand theft without any violations. In 2010 you were pulled over and cited for an expired driver's license that expired more than 6-months prior to the stop. You go to court and the case is dropped once you show the prosecutor your new valid driver's license.

TODAY: You are eligible to have the 2001 Grand Theft sealed.

IF NEW LAW PASSES: You will not be eligible to seal your 2001 Grand Theft charge because there was an intervening charge/arrest.

The Happy Happy Times

That Big One may be the only draw back of the proposed law. The good news is that if it becomes the law of the land you will be able to:
  • Expunge every charge that ends with a dismissal, no bill, and acquittal.
  • Be able to expunge one criminal arrest that resulted in a withhold of adjudication
  • Be able to seal one case that resulted in a withhold or one case that resulted in a conviction for a specified non-violent misdemeanor.
You will be able to do all this even if you have convictions for misdemeanors. The one disqualifying event would be a prior felony conviction.

The Bottom Line

Right now nothing has changed. The proposed law described above is just that - proposed. However, if it becomes law you should be prepared to take full advantage of both laws before the new law takes effect on October 1, 2015.

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