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The Berman Law Group

Expungement, Sealing, and Early Termination of Probation: How You Can Restore Your Civil Rights

More than 1.5 million Floridians cannot vote because they are felons. Our state leads the nation in terms of percentage of people who are disenfranchised. If you have a criminal record, you may find it difficult to get a job, acquire housing, or be a member of society.

At The Berman Law Group, we want you to understand expungement, sealing, and early termination. These are all powerful tools that can help you restore your place in our community.


Legally speaking, expungement erases the record of an arrest. After the process has been completed, you will not have to disclose the fact that you were arrested. This is useful when applying for jobs or apartments.

Any record of your offense is removed from government offices, as it is no longer part of public record. The State of Florida cannot say that you were arrested to private citizens or corporations.

There are several factors that influence whether or not you will receive an expungement. Many crimes that have a sexual nature cannot be stricken from your record. In addition, fraud cannot be eliminated from the court’s documents. Florida law allows for expunging only when the case did not result in a conviction.

If you want to have your record expunged, you will have to go through a lengthy process. Petitioning the court is a must. Filling out a form incorrectly could severely delay the process.


Generally speaking, when you seal a record, it is less hidden than if you had expunged it. The information concerning your arrest is hidden from the public, but the courts will consider it part of the criminal justice system. Sealed records may be included under prior arrests.

Just like with expungement, certain offenses automatically disqualify you from sealing your records. These include arson, drug trafficking, and grand theft auto.

One of the biggest differences involves whether the case went all the way through. If your case was dropped, dismissed, or had never been filed, you are eligible for expungement. When you are found not guilty, your case can only be sealed.

In order to seal the record, you must obtain a certificate of eligibility. After that, you can file a petition. If you make an error with either, then your request to seal the record could be delayed or denied.

Early Termination of Probation

Removing your probation can have many positive effects. First, it eliminates many sanctions on the probationer. These might include restricts on movement or travel. Barriers to employment are lifted. This also brings an end to the outflow of time and money that is associated with probation.

You can file for early termination of probation when half of your probation term has been completed, and all special conditions of the probation have been satisfied. Usually, these special conditions consist of payment of restitution, completion of community service hours, or finishing special counseling.

Filing a petition is necessary. As part of the process, you will have to attend a hearing before a judge. The court will ask you to explain why you deserve to have your probation terminated.

If you have any questions about expungement, early termination of probation, or sealing, we can help you out. Call The Berman Law Group when you are looking for an expungement lawyer.