Can You Expunge a DUI in Florida?

The consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) can extend far beyond the courtroom, impacting every aspect of your life. In these situations, you may wonder if you could have the conviction expunged, or removed from the record. Unfortunately, Florida’s legal framework does not permit the expungement of DUI convictions.

However, individuals who had their DUI charges dismissed or dropped without a conviction could request the court to seal their records. They could also request expungement if a judge reduced the initial DUI charges to reckless or careless driving

The Long-Term Effects of a DUI Conviction

The repercussions of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the immediate penalties. The long-term effects are pervasive, impacting many aspects of your life. Professionally, a conviction can severely limit your employment opportunities, especially in fields that require a background check or a clean driving record

Socially, the stigma attached to a DUI can strain personal relationships and lead to isolation, impacting your mental health and well-being. The financial implications can be profound as well, encompassing fines and legal fees as well as increases in insurance premiums, potentially doubling or tripling the cost of coverage.

dui lawyer checking paperwork

How to Request a Record to Be Sealed in Florida

If you were convicted of a DUI in Florida, you may be eligible to seal your criminal records. This process involves the following steps:

  • Eligibility Assessment: First, you will need to determine if your record qualifies for sealing. If your DUI charges were dismissed, dropped, or reduced to reckless driving with no conviction, you might be eligible.
  • Application for Certification of Eligibility: Next, obtain and complete the application from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The application must be notarized.
  • Submission to the State Attorney’s Office: Forward the application to the State Attorney’s Office in the county where the charge was filed. This office will complete its portion, which could take several weeks. Once finished, the document will be returned to you by mail.
  • Gather Required Documents: Compile all documents listed in the application’s checklist, including a certified copy of the disposition of the case you wish to have sealed.
  • Submit Application to FDLE: Along with the application, submit the required documents and the processing fee to FDLE. Upon approval, you’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Petition the Court: With the Certificate of Eligibility, you can then file a Petition to Expunge or Seal in the circuit court. You must also serve a copy to the State Attorney’s Office.
  • Court Process: The court will review your petition. If there are no objections from the State Attorney’s Office, the judge may issue an order to seal your records without a hearing. If there are objections, a hearing will be scheduled.
  • Finalization: Once the court issues an order to seal your records, agencies with copies of your criminal record will be notified. They are then required to seal your records, making them inaccessible to the public.

Protect Your Future—Contact a DUI Defense Attorney Today

While Florida’s laws set clear boundaries on expunging DUI convictions, avenues remain for those who want to seal their records. If you want to seal your criminal records, a Riverview DUI defense attorney can help you navigate these processes and champion your rights. After your arrest, schedule a legal consultation to discuss your options and protect your future.