Table of Contents:
- How to Seal a Criminal Record in New York
- How to Seal Criminal Records in Florida
- How to Seal a Criminal Record in Indiana
Review your criminal history to see if your arrest led to a conviction or if your case was a criminal violation instead of a criminal offense. Any prosecution that occurred after November 1991 and involved a dismissal, adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal (ACD) or a decline of prosecution should be sealed. If your case was not sealed or you were arrested prior to 1991, you can contact the court that tried your case and apply to have the case sealed.
Review your criminal history to see if your violation was for prostitution or a DUI. These two offenses are exceptions to the criminal violation rules and cannot be sealed.
Check your rap sheet to see if you were convicted of marijuana possession in an amount less than 7/8 oz. If you maintain a clean record for three years from your conviction date, you can have the case sealed.
Request a copy of your rap sheet to make sure cases are sealed. You should see an asterisk next to your arrest date and a "sealed 160.50" or "sealed 150.55" in the disposition column of your record for each docket or case number attached to the arrest. If the case is not correctly sealed on your rap sheet and was resolved after November 1991, send the court your disposition slip. If your case was resolved prior to this date, request that the clerk of the court to submit a second "sealing order" to the DCJS. Follow through in six months with another request to see your criminal history and check to make sure the notations appear.
Fill out an Application for Certification of Eligibility. To seal criminal records in Florida, you must only fill out Section A. You must provide your name and contact information as well as the law enforcement agency that arrested you and the date of that arrest. List all charges on your record that you wish to have sealed.
Have the Application for Certification of Eligibility notarized. Be sure to sign the form in front of the notary.
Have your fingerprints taken by an authorized agency. You must get the FDLE Fingerprint Form filled out, which requires name, gender, race, date of birth and signature. Providing your Social Security number may help processing, but it is voluntary.
Obtain certified copies of the final orders from each of your charges you wish to have sealed. This can be ordered through the clerk of the court office in the county of your arrest.
Send the Application for Certification of Eligibility, as well as $75 in money order or cashier's check, to: Florida Department of Law Enforcement ATTN: Expunge/Seal Section P.O. Box 1489 Tallahassee, Florida 32302-1489
Wait up to 60 days for a response from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
File a petition for sealing of your Florida criminal record. You will need to submit your eligibility certificate along with a sworn statement that you meet the eligibility criteria for having your records sealed. The court will notify the law enforcement agency involved with your case in case they wish to object.
Attend the court hearing, if the judge orders one to be held. You and a party of the state (a state attorney or the law enforcement agency) will argue why your records should or should not be sealed.
Have your records sealed, if the judge rules in your favor. The judge's order will be sent to all state agencies that had a copy of your criminal record. These records will now be legally sealed.
Determine if you qualify. According to the Indiana Legislative Services agency, you can petition for expungement if you were arrested, but no criminal charges were brought against you. You can also file if you had criminal charges filed, but they were dropped due to mistaken identity. The same is true if no actual crime took place or if there was lack of probable cause. You cannot have any other arrests on record or current charges pending, according to the Indiana Justice Center. You do not qualify for expungement if you have been convicted of a crime or if you received a non-guilty verdict in a case that went to trial.
Draw up a petition to request a sealing of your Indiana arrest record. You can do this on your own or hire an attorney to do it for you. The petition should include the date of your arrest, what you were charged with, the agency that employed the officer who arrested you, name of the officer, case number, your birthdate and social security number and a verification — a statement that all the information in your petition is true.
File the petition with the court where you received charges or with a county court with criminal jurisdiction if charges were never filed.
Send a copy of the petition to the organization of the arresting officer and the state central depository.