If you meet the requirements listed in Florida Statute Section 943.0585 or 943.059, you can get your record expunged or sealed in Florida. While it is within the court’s discretion whether or not to seal or expunge the Florida criminal record, the court can only deny the petition to seal or expunge the Florida criminal record if there is a good reason based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case. When the state attorney objects to a Florida criminal defendant’s petition to seal or expunge a record, the state attorney must present evidence at the hearing to support the state’s representations that the petition should be denied.
VDF v. State is a Jacksonville Florida case that addresses the issue of sealing versus expunging a Florida criminal record. In VDF v. State, the Florida First District Court of Appeals the trial court refused to expunge a Florida criminal defendant’s record. The Florida criminal defendant fulfilled all the requirements for an expunction under Florida Statute Section 943.0585. The court sealed the record instead of expunging it, so police would have easier access to the record. This was an abuse of the court’s discretion. The Florida criminal record should have been expunged instead, because VDF fulfilled all the Florida statutory requirements and the state did not present any evidence to support a denial of the Florida petition to expunge. Therefore, his record should have been expunged. VDF v. State, 19 So. 3d 1172 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009).