Record Sealing or Expungement
Criminal records can be cleared several different ways in the State of Florida. Criminal cases that have been dismissed by a judge or dropped by the state can be eligible for expungement. Expungement will result in the destruction of the criminal history record at the Clerk's offices and will only be held by law enforcement agencies. "Sealing" results in the court record being literally sealed in an envelope and held in a vault by the Clerk. this record may only be accessed by court order. Record sealing only available in cases where the court has not imposed a "conviction" in the case. For example, placing someone on probation and withholding adjudication of guilt, will fall into this category.
Civil Rights Restoration
Under Florida Law, a convicted felon is not eligible for any type of criminal history relief and cannot serve on a jury or hold public office until their civil rights have been restored. There are two types of civil rights restoration cases, with a hearing and without a hearing. In cases in which no hearing is required involves processing less serious offenses and requires that 5 years have passed since the date of completion of all sentences and conditions of supervision imposed for all felony convictions, and you must remain crime and arrest free for 5 years prior to being reviewed by the Florida Parole Commission.
You are also required to provide certified court documents for each felony conviction with the application before it will be entered into the system. Cases involving a hearing are designed to process the more serious offenses and requires that 7 years have passed since the date of completion of all sentences and conditions of supervision imposed for all felony convictions.