I often receive telephone calls from people asking if I can help them get their criminal record expunged. I ask them if they are eligible to have their criminal record expunged or merely sealed. The response is usually silence since most people do not realize that there is a distinction in Florida law between getting one's criminal record expunged versus getting it sealed. If a criminal record is expunged, then it must be physically destroyed pursuant to Florida statute section 943.0585(4). However, if a criminal record is merely sealed, then it is not physically destroyed but its contents are still confidential under most circumstances. See Florida statute section 943.059(4). Once a criminal record has been sealed for at least 10 years, it may then be possible to have it expunged. See Florida statute section 943.0585(2)(h).
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