Under Florida law, when a record is expunged it is physically destroyed. However, one copy of every expunged record is kept with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Under certain limited circumstances the FDLE can reveal the existence of the expunged record; however, it cannot reveal the contents of the record. In other words, one would be able to know that such a record exists but they would never be able to know what it says.
On the other hand, when a record is sealed the record is not destroyed. Sealed records are maintained, but are only available to persons with special access; the general public is not able to view sealed records. Expungement will be the best method if you want to keep your DUI conviction private because the physical record is destroyed, unlike sealed records.
To expunge a criminal record you must first receive a certificate of eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Once you receive the certificate of eligibility you can petition the court to expunge your criminal record. In the petition to the court you must attest to the following:
1. You have not been found guilty of any of the offenses outlined in Florida Statute §943.051(3)(b)
2. You have not been adjudicated guilty of the charges you are petitioning to expunge
3. You have not previously sealed or expunged your criminal history record under §943.0585
Florida DUI Lawyers to Help Assist with Expungements:
For help with getting your DUI record expunged or sealed, contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with one of our Tampa DUI lawyers. An attorney at our firm will review your criminal record and advise you as to whether or not you are eligible to have your record sealed or expunged. If you are eligible, our team of skilled Tampa DUI attorneys will draft all of the necessary documents and manage your petition throughout the entire process.