Cases That Can, and Cannot, Be Sealed in Florida
There’s a whole bunch of stuff out there that can be sealed, and a pretty lengthy list of stuff that cannot be sealed. So, we are not talking about expunges today because an expunge is something you get if your case was dropped. A seal is something you get if you pled to the case and received a withhold of adjudication.
Of course, you cannot seal anything you were found guilty of. We are only talking about cases that you pled to and received a withhold. Those cases must be sealed. And, you want something sealed, it is virtually the same thing as an expunge. It erases your background and it is a beautiful thing.
The problem is, there are quite a few cases out there that do not qualify for sealing. So, everything that you think is really serious, those cases don’t qualify for sealing. A rape, a murder, a molestation, child pornography. I wouldn’t know how you got a withhold on those cases anyway, but if you did–you cannot seal them.
But, there are also some not so serious cases that do not qualify for sealing as well. What comes to mind is a battery, domestic violence. That is a misdemeanor, and even if the judge says “You’re not guilty of this, we’re withholding adjudication and giving you some probation”. Even though you were not convicted of it, you cannot get a domestic violence sealed–even though it’s a misdemeanor (you can have it expunged, of course, if the case was dropped, but that’s a story for another video).
However, everything else can be sealed. Everything else. Not the serious crimes. Not those few misdemeanors, but everything in between gets to be sealed.
Some common things that qualify for sealing are shoplifting, petit theft, grand theft, possession of cocaine, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief. Everything you can think of that is “not so serious” and you received a withhold, you pled on that case–those things are eligible to be sealed. And, you want to erase it. I mean, sealing is virtually the same thing as an expunge.
So, I will post somewhere on this screen that list of cases that cannot be sealed. Everything else, you can seal it. You do want to take advantage of that and make sure this dark cloud of a criminal history doesn’t follow you around forever when you’ve paid your dues, you got through your probation, you got your withhold. Its time to erase this and put it behind you. I wish you luck, take care.