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A number of people who are arrested for alleged driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Florida are never convicted of the crimes. Despite the lack of conviction, however, a record of the arrest remains on the individual’s record and appears on routine background checks.
For many people, the consequences of the record of a DUI arrest can have profound implications on their employment, housing, or professional licensing opportunities. While individuals who were convicted of DUI offenses cannot seal or expunge their criminal records, people who were not convicted may be eligible to seal or expunge these records and lawfully deny that the arrests occurred, under most circumstances.
If you were arrested for DUI in north central Florida, but were never convicted of the crime, you may be able to have the record of your arrest sealed or expunged. Galigani Law Firm can help guide you through the complicated legal process.
Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gainesville who represents clients accused of drunk driving offenses throughout the greater Gainesville area, including communities in Baker County, Bradford County, Union County, and Columbia County.
You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (352) 375-0812 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
While some people mistakenly use the terms seal and expunge interchangeably regarding criminal records, the two terms have very different definitions. Under Florida Statute § 943.059, sealing a record refers to the court removing an individual’s criminal record from public view and physically puts it away such that no one except for specific government entities are able to access it without a court order.
An individual who seals his or her criminal record is allowed to deny or fail to acknowledge his or her arrest except when he or she:
Florida Statute §943.0585 establishes that when a person has a criminal record expunged, the actual record is physically destroyed and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintains a limited record of the person’s criminal history.
Entities that otherwise would have had access to sealed records are informed that those records were expunged and do not gain access to the records without court orders.
People can have their records expunged under the following circumstances:
The required first step toward obtaining a court-ordered seal or expunction is for the person to apply to FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility. The following requirements must be met in order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to petition the court for an order to seal or expunge a criminal record:
People who are seeking to expunge their criminal records must also have the prosecuting attorney from their jurisdiction in which the charge(s) originated or to which they were transferred from complete Section B of the application.
If this section is not completed, the application is processed as a request for the sealing of the person's criminal record.
After the FDLE reviews the Application for the Certificate of Eligibility, it will either send the individual a Certificate of Eligibility to seal his or her case, a Certificate of Eligibility to expunge his or her case, or a letter explaining why the case is not eligible for seal or expunction.
When the FDLE informs a person that he or she is not eligible, that person may be able to submit another Application for the Certificate of Eligibility if he or she is able to resolve the issues that the FDLE listed.
After the applicant completes all of the required forms, the clerk's office will schedule a hearing date. So long as the state attorney’s office does not object to the petition, a judge will grant the applicant's petition to seal or expunge his or her criminal record.
How to Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record | Clerk of the Court — View a set of instructions from the Alachua County Clerk of Court that outline the record sealing and expungement process. The document lists several different important addresses and phone numbers. You can also learn more about accepted credit card payments.
Alachua County Clerk of Court
Criminal Justice Center
220 South Main Street, 4th Floor
Gainesville, FL 32601
FDLE | Frequently Asked Questions — On this section of the FDLE website, you can find answers to several frequently asked questions (FAQs) about sealing and expunging records. Learn more about how many dates of arrest you can have sealed or expunged, what charges cannot be sealed when adjudication is withheld, and what charges cannot be expunged. You can also find information about what happens when a person receives a full pardon, receives clemency, or has his or her civil rights restored.
Are you hoping to expunge or seal a DUI arrest for which you were never convicted from your criminal record? Galigani Law Firm can assist you and ensure that you submit all of the required documentation.
Gainesville criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani represents individuals in Levy County, Gilchrist County, Alachua County, Marion County, and many surrounding areas of Gainesville.
Call (352) 375-0812 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
Honest, Skilled, Responsible
"Dean Galigani was supportive when my son was arrested for underage possession of alcohol..." - David