Next step of the process is getting that expungement packet. Where do you get that? The expungement packet includes a number of documents and information for you. Usually it includes the expungement statute, which you need to read very carefully. It includes a fingerprint card which you'll go to have to get yourself fingerprint in a local police agency. There'll be an instruction sheet telling you have to fill out the information that's requested in a packet.

They'll be an affidavit that you'll have to sign where you swear under oath that you've never been arrested or charged with the crime before. And there will be an application. And that application will be required to be filled out in its entirety. This application will be submitted to both the State attorney's office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The next thing you're going to want to do if you're doing this on your own is to get that expungement package. You can get that at the local clerk of courts, or by going on FDLE.com. Expected wait for the package, and in a lot of times in clerk's office won't have these in stock, so you have to either continue to go down there to get one, or calling ahead can make sure they have one available. But they do typically have them available, so you should be able to get them.

The next step of the process is filling out the application to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. What you are going to want to do is make sure that you get this application and start filling out the information that is required on the application. You want to put your last name, the first name, and your middle name. Other familiar parts you will see are the following:

  • Maiden Name
  • Your divorced name (if applicable)
  • Your residence
  • Your business phone
  • Your date of birth
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Your social security number
  • Permanent address
  • Arresting agency
  • Date of arrest
  • Driver's license number

All of this information is extremely important, and if you do not fill out any part of it, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will not issue the certificate which will allow you the ability to try to petition the judge to expunge your record or it may delay the process. Remember that you need to make sure that the arresting agency’s date of arrest correct, by looking at your charging affidavit. If you cannot get that result, and you take a guess, or you base the information upon the clerk’s computer, you might be making a mistake, and FDLE will not grant you the certificate. The judge still has the choice to make into the matter, but you will not even get that far, unless you fill this information out correctly. Remember, the application requires you to list your charges, and you need to put them all down, and it is going to ask you to swear under oath that the charges are correct, and to the best of your knowledge.

It is important that you make sure that you put down all of the charges, and that you check off on the expunge part, not the seal part. This is especially true if you are looking to expunge a dropped or dismissed record. After you fill out the application, you will next have to send the application over to the State Attorney’s Office for a section the prosecutor has to fill out. This can be a difficult, not because it is difficult to get the State Attorney to fill it out. Make sure you get the application to the right State Attorney’s Office. You should call the State Attorney’s Office, identify yourself, ask to speak to the expungement clerk, and make sure that they give you the correct address and the correct office to send your application. Once a State Attorney gets this document, they will review the record, see if your charge is dropped, and then sign off on it. They will identify that yes, in fact, your charge was dropped, dismissed, or never filed upon. Prepare to be patient, but realize that if it does not happen in 30 days, you can call over to the State Attorney’s Office, and try to get in touch with them. It is not likely that you will ever speak to the prosecutor themselves, because prosecutors do not want to talk to unrepresented people. But you should be able to get the assistant. Be prepared to be frustrated, because sometimes you will get the assistant’s voice mail, or if you e-mail them they may not respond right away.

Be persistent, be polite, but remember to not get frustrated. If you do, it is more than likely that your application will get put to the bottom, and you will wait even longer. While your application to the State Attorney’s Office is in the mail, the next step of the process is to go down to a local police agency, take the fingerprint card with you, pay between five and twenty dollars, and get yourself fingerprinted. Before you go to the police station, realize that not all police stations do fingerprinting, and sometimes they have inconvenient times to do it. Do not be afraid when you go. You are not going to be arrested, unless you committed a new crime, or have a warrant for your arrest. You can get it done before or after you fill out the application, but you want to make sure you have the fingerprints done. So, when you get the completed application back from the State Attorney’s Office, and both you and the prosecutor sign off on the application, you now have the application and fingerprint card. You are ready to send it off to FDLE.

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