Bradenton Sealing Expungement


Individuals who have found themselves afoul of the law realize the ramifications of having a criminal record. Finding housing, obtaining employment and passing background checks all become a challenge. The State of Florida allows for a one time sealing or expunging of certain criminal offenses from an individual’s criminal record.


There is a difference between sealing and expungement. Sealing refers to the public’s ability to have access to a criminal record. Once a record is officially sealed, the case will not be viewable to the public, but certain governmental agencies will still have access to it. Only one arrest or one incident is eligible for sealing. The only exception to this is if the multiple arrests or charges are related to the original arrest. Sealing is permitted when an official charging document (such as an information or an indictment) has been entered into the court file. A defendant seeking a sealing must not have been charged with a non-sealable offense, and must not have been adjudicated guilty of any offense.


When a record is expunged, individuals and entities will not have access to the criminal record without a court order. Much like sealing, only one arrest or one incident is eligible for expungement. The exception, of course, is when multiple arrests or charges are related to the original arrest. Expunctions are only permitted if no official charging document (such as an information or indictment) was filed, or if a charging document was filed, was later dismissed by the court or dropped by the State. (such as participation in a pre-trial intervention or diversion program). In no circumstance may a case that went to trial ever be expunged, however it may be eligible for sealing.

It is important to note that there are certain enumerated offenses, which render a defendant ineligible for a sealing or expungement. While it is possible for someone to seek a sealing or expungement on their own, the process is time consuming and confusing, and it is in one’s best interest to contact an attorney who can assist with the process. 

Client Reviews

  • Made an unpleasant experience more bearable.

    “Both Mr. Fowler and his staff were a pleasure to work with and made an unpleasant experience more bearable. I greatly appreciate his assistance and would highly recommend him to anyone.”

  • Best choice for my legal defense.

    “In August 2016, I was arrested for driving under the influence. After my release from jail, my best friend Jessica gave me a number for a defense lawyer so I could hopefully fix my current legal situation involving my arrest by Sarasota PD. Mr. Fowler previously helped my friend get out of her sticky situation with the law. After briefly speaking to Mr. Fowler about my situation, I decided that he would be the best choice for my legal defense.”

  • Demonstrated true passion & professional in my case.

    “Mr. Fowler took on a criminal case in my behave & display full attention to my concerns, he demonstrated true passion & professional in my case. If you ever need a criminal attorney, I highly recommend this law firm for your situation.”

  • Great Job!

    “Mr. Fowler did a great job. He worked hard for my defense and got me the best possible out come for my case.”

  • Highly Recommend!

    “Highly recommended. James is very knowledgeable.”

  • DUI
  • Felony Battery against a Healthcare Worker
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Felony Possession of Marijuana
  • Traffic Infraction Resulting in a Fatality

Recognitions & MILESTONES

  • March 2024
    James Fowler is given the Lawyers of Distinction Award.
  • February 2024
    Andrew Pouget was named as one of The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40.
  • September 2023
    James Fowler is recognized as Top Elite Attorney in criminal defense by SRQ Magazine.
  • Andrew Pouget is recognized as Top Elite Attorney in criminal defense by SRQ Magazine.


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