Even if you weren’t physically arrested, a summons or notice to appear in criminal court constitutes an arrest and will show up on your record no matter what the outcome of the case. Criminal history records are accessible to the PUBLIC and will show up on any background check. And, as you may have already experienced, these background checks frequently cause problems with employment, housing and numerous other issues. However, you can put an end to these problems by sealing or expunging your criminal history record. -back to top-
Once your criminal history is sealed or expunged, you may lawfully DENY or FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE the arrest or arrests covered by the sealed or expunged record. However, there are limited exceptions which would require your disclosure. You will be required to disclose your criminal history record if:
- You are a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency.
- You are a defendant in a criminal prosecution.
- You concurrently or subsequently petition to have a case sealed or expunged. (In other words, under the current state of the law in Florida, you can only seal or expunge ONE case and ONE CASE ONLY in your lifetime.)
- You are a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar.
- You are seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, the aged, or the elderly as provided in §110.1127(3), §393.063, §394.4572(1), §397.451, §402.302(3), §402.313(3), §409.175(2)(i), §415.102(4), §415.103, Chapter 916, §985.644, Chapter 400, or Chapter 429.
- You are seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities.
- You are attempting to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer and you are subject to a criminal history background check under state or federal law.
- You are seeking authorization from a Florida seaport identified in §311.09 for employment within or access to one or more such seaports pursuant to §311.12 or §311.125.
Note: Any of the government and related entities identified above will have access to your sealed criminal history record, including your identification information (name, date of birth, etc.), the date of your arrest, the arresting agency, the charge and the disposition. However, if your record was expunged, these government and related entities will only have access to your identification information and will be advised that “Criminal History Information Has Been Expunged From This Record.” The authorized entity could then seek a court order releasing the remaining information. -back to top-