The Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic gives those who have been arrested a chance to have their record sealed or expunged which may allow members of our community the opportunity to improve their access to housing, career and educational opportunities.
If you were charged with a crime in Hillsborough County and the case did not result in a conviction, you may be eligible to have a single record sealed or expunged.
For those who qualify, we assist with processing the application for submission to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic will include all steps needed to complete the Application for Certificate of Eligibility for submission to FDLE- the first step in obtaining a sealing or expunction. The Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic will include preparation of application and review by State Attorney’s Office, notary services at no charge, and, for qualified participants, our partners will provide the $75 processing fee required by FDLE. Volunteer attorneys not affiliated with the Office of the State Attorney will be on hand to answer questions that you may have relating to your sealing or expunction. Participation in the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic is not required for an individual to seek to seal or expunge their record. Information on how to seal or expunge your record can also be found at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Seal-and-Expunge-Process/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx .
In order to participate in the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic, you must pre-register. Based upon the information provided, we will screen your case to see if you are eligible to seal or expunge your record. If you appear to qualify, you will be notified of a time slot to attend the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic. If you are not eligible, we will notify you so that you will not need to attend the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic. We can only assist with state adult criminal cases that occurred in Hillsborough County at the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic. Space is limited for this event- registration will be open until September 23 or until all slots are full. A valid government-issued picture ID is required.
Once your registration is received, it will be reviewed to determine whether your charge qualifies for sealing or expungement. If it qualifies, we will contact you by email or phone to provide you with your time slot to attend the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic. If the charge does not qualify, you will be notified that the charge was not accepted for this Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic.
We can only help with adult criminal cases that occurred in state court in Hillsborough County.
Day of the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic
Bring a valid government-issued picture ID so that you can have your documents notarized- appropriate identification includes: State-issued driver's license, State-issued identification card, U.S. passport, U.S. military ID, State, county and local government IDs, Permanent resident card, or "green card," issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
After the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic
At the end of the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic, you will be provided instructions on what you need to do in order to complete the sealing or expungement process.
Your application and attachments will be submitted to FDLE. FDLE will conduct their own additional research to determine if you are eligible to have your case sealed or expunged. They will do a criminal history records check in Florida and throughout the United States. Once FDLE has finished reviewing your application, they will send you one of three things:
A letter telling you that your case is not eligible and why
A Certificate of Eligibility to Seal your case, or
A Certificate of Eligibility to Expunge your case
If you receive a letter from FDLE advising you that your case is not eligible then you cannot proceed with this process until you take care of whatever they tell you the problem is. Unfortunately, there are times when your problem cannot be “fixed” meaning you simply just do not qualify to have your record sealed or expunged at this time.
If you receive a Certificate of Eligibility you must follow up with the court. Your Certificate of Eligibility is only valid for 12 months, so you should follow up with the court promptly. You must complete a Petition to Seal or Expunge, an Affidavit in Support of Petition to Seal or Expunge and an Order to Seal or Expunge. These are fill-in the-blank forms and a copy will be provided to you of at the end of the Hillsborough County Expungement Clinic. These forms are also available from the Hillsborough Clerk of Court at https://www.hillsclerk.com/Court-Services/Expungement-and-Sealing
The Effects of Sealing or Expunging
If your criminal history record is ordered sealed you may lawfully deny the existence of the record, except when you are:
Applying for a job with a criminal justice agency,
A defendant in a criminal prosecution,
Applying for another sealing or expungement,
Applying for admission to the Florida Bar,
Seeking employment or licensing by the Department of Children and Family Services, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Juvenile Justice, or in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, the aged or the elderly,
Seeking employment or licensing with the Department of Education, any district school board, university laboratory school, charter school, any private or parochial school or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities,
Attempting to purchase a firearm and are subject to a criminal history background check, or
Seeking authorization from a Florida seaport for employment within or access to one or more seaports.
Your sealed record is available only to you, your attorney, criminal justice agencies for their criminal justice purposes, judges in the state courts system for the purpose of assisting them in their case-related decision-making responsibilities, or any of the groups listed above when you apply for employment, licensing or access authorization.
When your criminal history record has been ordered expunged, you may lawfully deny the existence of the record under the same circumstances listed above (except when attempting to purchase a firearm and subject to a criminal history background check).
A record that has been ordered expunged is to be physically destroyed or obliterated (except for the record held by FDLE) and is not available to anyone without a court order, even you.
Remember – you are only permitted to have one criminal history record sealed or expunged in your lifetime, so make your choice carefully.
Do you still have questions? If so, please contact us at ExpungementClinic@sao13th.com