I get asked all the time, what's the difference between a dismissal and expungement? Well, they're way different.

A lot of times people think that since their case was dismissed it'll be expunged. And that's not the case. A dismissal is a dismissal. Whether the state enters an old nolle prosequi, which is the state's dismissal, or they enter a no file which means they're declining to file charges - period. Those act as dismissals. A judge can dismiss the case based on a motion, what's called a C4 motion, or you might even be acquitted at trial. But just because all those great results happen, it doesn't mean this comes off your record.

What an expungement does or what a seal does is it removes it from public record. And when I say public record we're talking about government-controlled public records. Clerk of Courts, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and State Attorney's Office. Those are what can get removed from an expungement. Now an expungement or a seal is a process that takes anywhere from three to nine months to complete and you must be eligible for it. You must have no prior crimes or convictions. They must fall within a certain parameter of charge and you must follow the proper procedure to get a certificate of eligibility.

If you want to know more about sealing or expunging your case, I developed a webinar that you can download here on this website to learn more about the expungement process. If you've just been arrested and you want your case expunged, you have to get your case dismissed or at least get a withhold adjudication on some of the crimes to get your case sealed and we can assist you with that. Learn more about or download one of our many free guides.

Looking for no-nonsense legal advice about a DUI, criminal charge, or personal injury claim in Palm Beach? Attorney Matthew Konecky delivers what he promises. We are a client-centered criminal defense & personal injury law firm focused on results, not hype. 

To learn more, contact our office, download our books, or set up a consultation so we can get started on your case today. 

You can also visit us online at https://www.matthewkoneckypa.com/ or call us at (561) 671-5995 as we are on standby to take your call.