Sealing & Expunging Records

Forms and instructions for filing a Petition to Seal or a Petition to Expunge are available for a fee at the Clerk of Courts office. Fee Schedule

Florida law allows for expungement of criminal records resulting from the same arrest that do not include a conviction, and permits the sealing or expungement of some records where adjudication was withheld. To be eligible for sealing or expungement, the defendant must not have been convicted of or have pled guilty to any criminal offense, and must not have previously received an expungement or sealing.

In order to determine eligibility you will first need to obtain an application to seal or expunge your case records by visiting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website at FDLE Seal and Expunge Home.

The purpose of this application process is to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility prior to petitioning the court.

The packet consists of the application and fingerprint card. You must be fingerprinted by authorized law enforcement personnel or a criminal justice agency.

You will also need a certified copy of the final disposition of your case. You can obtain certified copies of the final disposition on the case(s) from the Clerk's office or by filling out the Document Request Form and submitting your request to the Records Request System.  

Once you have completed the application and fingerprint card, and obtained certified copies of your dispositions, all of these items, plus a cashier's check or money order for $75 (seventy five dollars) made payable to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, must be mailed to the address listed on the application.

The FDLE will mail a Certificate of Eligibility to confirm for you all case(s) eligible to be sealed or expunged. You will need to bring this Certificate to the Clerk’s Office at the Justice Center, 1700 Monroe Street or 2075 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33901

At the Clerk’s Office you will complete additional paperwork that must be filled out for the Judge who will review your case. This paperwork includes the Petition, Affidavit, Notice of Hearing, and an Order to Seal or Expunge, all of which must be filed with the court, and links to these documents are located on this page.

The filing fee due when documents are filed is $42 plus copy and certification fees. The total fee is approximately $50 to $60.

Upon filing of the Order granting the petition to seal or expunge the case record and file, the Clerk will remove all information from your judicial record and forward certified copies of the order to the appropriate agencies. A successful sealing will limit disclosure of the record to only the defendant, attorney of record, Florida Bar, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Board of Education, law enforcement and a few other parties pursuant to statute. An expunged record will be unavailable for distribution to any private or public entity. Agencies that can view a sealed record will be informed only that a record has been expunged.

 
 
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