Florida Battery Record: Can I Seal or Expunge My Florida Battery Charge?

As a general rule, you can seal or expunge a Florida criminal record so long as you have not been convicted of a crime. Therefore, if you received a withhold of adjudication, you can seal your record. However, there are certain criminal offenses that cannot be sealed or expunged, even if adjudication is withheld, if you plea guilty or no contest to the charge. These criminal offenses can be found in Florida Statute Section 907.041. For example, you cannot seal or expunge a Florida aggravated battery or Florida domestic battery if you have pled guilty or no contest to such charge. This is the law regardless of whether or not you received a conviction or a withhold of adjudication.

Two questions still remain: 

  1. Can you seal a Florida aggravated battery or domestic battery record if you pled to a lesser or amended offense, such as a simple battery or fighting/affray?
  2. Can you expunge a Florida aggravated battery or domestic battery record if the charges were dropped?
After researching such questions and submitting cases to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for review, it appears that you cannot have the record sealed if you pled to a lesser or amended offense, but you can if the charges were dropped.  However, the Florida Supreme Court has not decided this issue.  Therefore, it will be interesting to see what their decision would be on such an issue.  

I do not agree with the FDLE’s decision to reject a Florida Criminal Defendant’s application for a certificate of eligibility for someone that has pled to a lesser offense and is applying to have his record sealed.  A person’s criminal background can make or break him.  It makes a person less marketable in an already overly competive work place.  As such, many Florida residents are being denied job opportunities.  If this has happened to you, and you would like to fight this decision, contact a Florida Record Sealing Lawyer. You only have 30 days from the date of the FDLE’s rejection letter to petition the court for a writ of mandamus.  

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