How long does a felony stay on your record in Florida?

How long does a felony stay on your record in Florida?

Those facing a felony charge, or who have already been convicted, usually have concerns about the long-term impact this may have on their lives. From employment background checks, to getting a loan, a felony on your record can have longstanding negative consequences.

But how long does a felony stay on your record in Florida?

There are two different things we need to look at here.

  1. The charge itself (regardless of a guilty or innocent verdict, and regardless of if it was dropped)
  2. A felony conviction

A felony conviction in Florida will stay on your permanent criminal record for life. There are, however, a few exceptions, albeit less likely. A felony conviction may be removed if you receive a pardon by the Florida State Governor or the President of The United States.

In Florida, those accused of a felony can also be ‘guilty’ without actually being convicted in court. In such circumstances, a defendant can apply to have their records either sealed or expunged.

Expungement: A potential opportunity in cases where charges were made but not filed, made them dropped, dismissed, nolle prossed, or when a defendant was found not guilty after a trial. Expungement does not remove the felony charge from your criminal record, but does remove the case from any visible public record (meaning it won’t show up on background checks).

Sealing: Those who received a ‘withhold of adjudication’ may be eligible to have their records sealed by the court.

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