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Sammis Law Firm

Seal or Expunge Criminal Record in Hillsborough County

Arrests or charges that did not result in a criminal conviction may qualify for a sealing or expunction. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) administers the application process that provides several means to seal or expunge certain categories of criminal history records.

The courts in Hillsborough County, FL, have special rules to seal or expunge a criminal history record. Many of these special rules are found on page 17  and 18 of the latest Administrative Order S-2020-014 for the procedures in the Circuit Criminal Division in Hillsborough County, FL.

Section 33(A) of the administrative order addresses the special rules and procedures for the assignment of a petition to seal or expunge a criminal record in Hillsborough County, FL.

For instance, all petitions to expunge or seal criminal records will be filed in the division in which the underlying criminal case was last pending when the petition is filed in accordance with any of the following sections:

  • Section 943.0585 (court-ordered expunction of criminal history records);
  • Section 943.059 (court-ordered sealing of criminal history records);
  • Sections 943.0578 (lawful self-defense expunction); or
  • Section 943.0583 (human trafficking victim expunction).

Attorney to Seal or Expunge Criminal Record in Hillsborough County, FL

You are not required to hire a private attorney to seal or expunge a criminal history record, although it might not be a good do-it-yourself project.

Especially if your case involved more than one charge, more than one arrest date, or more than one case number, you might be better off hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure all records are properly sealed or expunged.

We can send you the paperwork to sign within one business day so the process is started without delay. We can help you prepare all of the necessary documentation, obtain the required records, submit the application, prepare the petition, affidavits, and proposed orders, serve the parties, file the required paperwork, answer any objections from the State Attorney’s Office, if any, and appear for you in court, if required.

All you need to do is notarize the three documents that we send you and return the fingerprint card.

To get started today, call 813-250-0500.

Petitions Must include All Applicable Case Numbers

The prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL, may file a response to the petition in accordance with Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.692, 3.693, or 3.694.

The clerk will present the petition and any filed response to the administrative judge for review and entry of an appropriate order. In Hillsborough County, FL, the clerk will provide to the public defender a certified copy of all orders to expunge or seal criminal history records.

Report of Unpaid Fees, Charges, and Costs

Prior to the administrative judge signing an order granting expunction or sealing of a criminal history record or any part of a criminal history record, the clerk will report to the judge the amount of all court-related fees, charges, and costs unpaid in the case.

Sealing or Expunging Records for a Felony Reduced to a Misdemeanor

If a felony criminal report affidavit is reduced to a misdemeanor and filed in the county court, that affidavit will also be sealed or expunged by the clerk and law enforcement agencies upon the entry of an order sealing or expunging the misdemeanor case which states both case numbers.

The Annual Hillsborough County Expungement Clinics

What is the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic? The expungement clinic in Hillsborough County, FL, is sponsored by the State Attorney’s Office for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, the Commission on the Status of Women (COSW), and the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative (THHI).

The expungement clinic in Hillsborough County, FL, provides a one-stop-shop to have one criminal record sealed or expunged. The services provided include assistance with the preparation of application and review by the State Attorney’s Office, and notary services at no charge. For qualified participants, the THHI and COSW might sponsor the $75 processing fee required by the FDLE.

During the 2018 inaugural event, more than 145 participants successfully submitted their sealing or expunction application to FDLE at no cost. In 2019, the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic was held on September 17 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the Office of the State Attorney, 419 N. Pierce St., Tampa, FL, 33602.

Read more about the special rules to seal or expunge a record in Pasco County, FL.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, November 11, 2020.

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