When a person calls us at Shorstein & Lasnetski, LLC and asks about getting a prior criminal record sealed or expunged, we are often faced with the situation of a person with multiple arrests. The person wants to know if he/she can have his/her entire criminal record sealed or expunged. The first question is whether that person is eligible to have any arrest or criminal disposition sealed or expunged. We can answer that question fairly quickly at a free consultation over the phone or in our office.
Assuming a person is eligible to have a criminal record sealed or expunged in Florida, Florida law does not allow him/her to have multiple, different criminal records sealed or expunged. Florida law says that a person can only seal or expunge one criminal record. As part of the sealing or expunction process, the applicant has to swear that he/she has never had a criminal record sealed or expunged before. In other words, you can only do it once.
However, I mentioned that you cannot have multiple, different criminal records sealed or expunged in Florida. If you have multiple charges that were part of the same incident, assuming you are eligible, you can have all of the charges related to that incident sealed or expunged. For example, assume you were pulled over for reckless driving, the officer thought you were drunk and arrested you for DUI and then said you gave him a false name and resisted arrest, you may have four criminal charges as part of that one incident. If those charges were later dropped, you might be eligible to have the criminal records related to all four charges expunged because they were part of the same incident.
On the other hand, assume you were arrested for DUI in 2000 and then were arrested for domestic battery in 2004. The 2000 DUI was resolved with a withhold of adjudication, and the 2004 domestic battery charge was dropped. In this situation, you would have to choose which criminal record you would want to address. If you have the DUI sealed, you could not have the domestic battery expunged, and vice versa.
If you have questions about whether you are eligible to have a criminal record expunged or sealed, feel free to call us for a free consultation.