What Are the Steps to an Expungment?

Now, I should say this. The final step of an expungement is to have a judge sign off on it. The judge needs to read over your petition, you may have a very short hearing, and in the end, the judge is going to issue an order.

Let me explain what that order for expungement actually is. It is an order for every agency that has officially touched your case for them to destroy their records. The state attorney’s office, the clerk of the court, the sheriff’s office, whatever agency ended up arresting you, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, all of those official agencies get an order from the judge saying, “You’ve got to destroy the records.” Any contact with you have had with those agencies would show up on a background check.

Internet Searches and Expungement

Sometimes what happens is that Internet websites will track people that were arrested. They will have this database that clearly lists that you were arrested in whatever county jail. Somehow they even have access to the jail logs. If you Google yourself, you may find yourself on that. That court order doesn’t necessarily apply to those particular private sectors, in terms of the Internet. I have seen scenarios where if you actually have that order to expunge, you can forward that over to whatever website is still running that and often times they will take delete your information.

That is one thing to kind of be aware of. The order of expungement goes to any official agency that’s touched your case. It’s not necessarily a magic potion that as soon as it’s signed, poof, all information about you will erase. You may have to forward that order to other companies if you do a web search on yourself.

Interviewer: Anything else you want to say about these subjects?

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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