Expengement and Record Sealing

How We Can Help

Expengement and Record Sealing

The law relating to record sealing and expungments is very complex. There are several requirements and conditions that must be met before you can have a criminal record sealed or expunged. By hiring The Law Office of M. Ameen to get your record sealed or expunged you will save time and frustration. We have handled many expungments and understand the legal requirements to get your record sealed or expunged. Call us 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, toll free 1-800-436-8332 to set up a free consultation and discuss your case with an attorney today!

What is the difference between having a criminal history record sealed vs. expunged?

When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.

When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that “Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record”.

How do I have a criminal history record sealed or expunged?

Florida Statutes, s.943.0585 and s.943.059, set forth the criteria that must be met in order to be eligible to have a criminal history record sealed or expunged. In addition, these statutes also state that in order to have a criminal history record sealed or expunged within the State of Florida, an individual must first make application to the FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility.

Why do I have a criminal history record when the charges against me were dropped/dismissed?

The Florida Legislature has determined that Florida criminal history records are public unless the record is sealed or expunged. See Section 943.053(3), Florida Statutes, which provides for public access to criminal history records. The term “criminal history information” is defined, tracking the federal definition, at Section 943.045(4), Florida Statutes. A criminal history record is created when a person is arrested and fingerprinted, and includes the disposition of that arrest, whether it is a conviction, acquittal, dismissal of charges before trial, or other disposition.

How many dates of arrest can I have sealed or expunged?

The eligibility criteria for an applicant to have a record sealed or expunged include the requirement that the applicant be able to attest that he or she has never previously had a record sealed or expunged in Florida or in another jurisdiction. This means, in effect, that a person may only seal or expunge one arrest record in one proceeding. More than one record may be sealed or expunged in the same proceeding if the court, in its sole discretion, finds the arrests to be directly related. A record that is initially ineligible for expunction (e.g., where adjudication is withheld) may become eligible after it has been sealed for 10 years. However, a person may not seal or expunge one arrest record and then, later and in a different proceeding, ask to have a different arrest record sealed or expunged. An expunction or sealing which occurs automatically or by operation of law, without any action on the part of the record subject, is not considered a prior expunction or sealing for this purpose. By law, s. 943.0582(8), Florida Statutes, a juvenile diversion expunge does not prevent the record subject from seeking a judicial expunction or sealing under s. 943.0585 or s. 943.059, Florida Statutes.

What charges may not be sealed?

A list of charges that may not be sealed even when adjudication is withheld is enumerated in s. 943.059, Florida Statutes. It includes the following: 1) Arson, 2) Aggravated Assault, 3) Aggravated Battery, 4) Illegal use of explosives, 5) Child abuse or Aggravated Child Abuse, 6) Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, 7) Aircraft piracy, 8) Kidnapping, 9) Homicide, 10) Manslaughter, 11) Sexual Battery, 12) Robbery, 13) Carjacking, 14) Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years, 15) Sexual activity with a child, who is 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, by or at solicitation of a person in familial or custodial authority, 16) Burglary of a dwelling, 17) Stalking and Aggravated Stalking, 18) Act of Domestic Violence as defined in s. 741.28, 19) Home-invasion Robbery, 20) Act of Terrorism as defined by s. 775.30, 21)Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893, 22) Attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes, 23) Sexual misconduct with developmentally disabled person and related offenses, 24) Sexual misconduct with mental health patient and related offenses, 25) Luring or enticing a child, 26) Sexual Battery and related offenses, 27) Procuring person under 18 for prostitution, 28) Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, 29) Voyeurism, 30) Florida Communication Fraud Act (Scheme to Defraud or Organized Fraud, as used in s.817.034, F.S.), 31) Lewd or lascivious offense upon or in presence of elderly person or disabled person, 32) Sexual performance by a child, 33) Offenses By Public Officers and Employees, 34) Showing, selling, etc., obscene literature to minor, 35) Computer pornography, 36) Selling or buying of minors, 37) Trafficking in controlled substances, 38) Sexual misconduct with mentally deficient or mentally ill defendant and related offenses, and 39) A violation of any offense qualify for registration as a sexual predator under s.775.21 or for registration as a sexual offender under s.943.0435. In addition, if a person has been adjudicated guilty of any criminal offense in any jurisdiction (or adjudicated delinquent for any felony or for certain specified misdemeanors), whether or not related to the charge(s) that the person is applying for, the record is ineligible for sealing and the application will be denied.

What charges may be expunged?

The same eligibility requirements which apply to sealing also apply to expunction, with certain additional requirements. Any charge, which resulted in a withholding of adjudication or in an acquittal (not guilty verdict) after trial, may not be expunged unless and until it has first been sealed for at least 10 years. See s. 943.0585(2)(h), Florida Statutes. A charge which was dismissed before trial (e.g., no information, nolle prosequi, no bill, etc.) may be expunged immediately provided all charges related to the arrest were so disposed of, and the record is otherwise eligible.

If I have a criminal history record sealed or expunged in another state or jurisdiction, am I still eligible to have a criminal history record sealed or expunged within the State of Florida?

If the other record were sealed or expunged by operation of law (administratively or automatically, without intervention or action by the subject of the record), then the out-of-state sealing or expunction would not prevent you from being eligible to have a record in Florida sealed or expunged. However, if the record was sealed or expunged because you petitioned to have it done by a court order, or otherwise actively sought the sealing or expunction, then you would not be eligible to have another record sealed or expunged.

Why is the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles checked to determine my eligibility to have my criminal history record sealed or expunged?

A criminal offense such as DUI, Driving While License Suspended/canceled/revoked, or reckless driving may appear in the DHSMV database even though it may not be entered in the criminal history record system maintained by FDLE. Although non-criminal traffic offenses (such as careless driving) have no affect on eligibility to seal or expunge a criminal history record, an adjudication of guilty for any criminal offense renders the record ineligible for either form of relief.

How We Can Help

The law relating to record sealing and expungments is very complex. There are several requirements and conditions that must be met before you can have a criminal record sealed or expunged. By hiring The Law Office of M. Ameen to get your record sealed or expunged you will save time and frustration. We have handled many expungments and understand the legal requirements to get your record sealed or expunged. Call us 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, toll free 1-800-436-8332 to set up a free consultation and discuss your case with an attorney today!

Florida Record Expungement Statute (F.S. 943.0585)

943.0585 Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records.–

The courts of this state have jurisdiction over their own procedures, including the maintenance, expunction, and correction of judicial records containing criminal history information to the extent such procedures are not inconsistent with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties established by this section. Any court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal justice agency to expunge the criminal history record of a minor or an adult who complies with the requirements of this section. The court shall not order a criminal justice agency to expunge a criminal history record until the person seeking to expunge a criminal history record has applied for and received a certificate of eligibility for expunction pursuant to subsection (2). A criminal history record that relates to a violation of s.
393.135, s.
394.4593, s.
787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 810.14, s. 817.034, s.
825.1025, s.
827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s.
847.0135, s.
847.0145, s.
893.135, s.
916.1075, a violation enumerated in s. 907.041, or any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator pursuant to s. 775.21, without regard to whether that offense alone is sufficient to require such registration, or for registration as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435, may not be expunged, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld, if the defendant was found guilty of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to the offense, or if the defendant, as a minor, was found to have committed, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to committing, the offense as a delinquent act. The court may only order expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity, except as provided in this section. The court may, at its sole discretion, order the expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest. If the court intends to order the expunction of records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not expunge any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the order to expunge does not articulate the intention of the court to expunge a record pertaining to more than one arrest. This section does not prevent the court from ordering the expunction of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a criminal justice agency may comply with laws, court orders, and official requests of other jurisdictions relating to expunction, correction, or confidential handling of criminal history records or information derived therefrom. This section does not confer any right to the expunction of any criminal history record, and any request for expunction of a criminal history record may be denied at the sole discretion of the court.

  • PETITION TO EXPUNGE A CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD.–Each petition to a court to expunge a criminal history record is complete only when accompanied by:
    • A valid certificate of eligibility for expunction issued by the department pursuant to subsection
    • The petitioner’s sworn statement attesting that the petitioner:
    • Has never, prior to the date on which the petition is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b).
    • Has not been adjudicated guilty of, or adjudicated delinquent for committing, any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition pertains.
    • Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, former s. 893.14, former s.
      901.33, or former s. 943.058, or from any jurisdiction outside the state, unless expunction is sought of a criminal history record previously sealed for 10 years pursuant to paragraph (2)(h) and the record is otherwise eligible for expunction.
    • Is eligible for such an expunction to the best of his or her knowledge or belief and does not have any other petition to expunge or any petition to seal pending before any court.
    • Any person who knowingly provides false information on such sworn statement to the court commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  • CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPUNCTION.–Prior to petitioning the court to expunge a criminal history record, a person seeking to expunge a criminal history record shall apply to the department for a certificate of eligibility for expunction. The department shall, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, establish procedures pertaining to the application for and issuance of certificates of eligibility for expunction. A certificate of eligibility for expunction is valid for 12 months after the date stamped on the certificate when issued by the department. After that time, the petitioner must reapply to the department for a new certificate of eligibility. Eligibility for a renewed certification of eligibility must be based on the status of the applicant and the law in effect at the time of the renewal application. The department shall issue a certificate of eligibility for expunction to a person who is the subject of a criminal history record if that person:
    • Has obtained, and submitted to the department, a written, certified statement from the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor which indicates:
      • That an indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or issued in the case.
      • That an indictment, information, or other charging document, if filed or issued in the case, was dismissed or nolle prosequi by the state attorney or statewide prosecutor, or was dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction, and that none of the charges related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains resulted in a trial, without regard to whether the outcome of the trial was other than an adjudication of guilt.
      • That the criminal history record does not relate to a violation of s. 393.135, s. 394.4593, s. 787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 810.14, s. 817.034, s. 825.1025, s. 827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135, s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, s. 916.1075, a violation enumerated in s. 907.041, or any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator pursuant to s. 775.21, without regard to whether that offense alone is sufficient to require such registration, or for registration as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435, where the defendant was found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any such offense, or that the defendant, as a minor, was found to have committed, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to committing, such an offense as a delinquent act, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld.
    • Remits a $75 processing fee to the department for placement in the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, unless such fee is waived by the executive director.
    • Has submitted to the department a certified copy of the disposition of the charge to which the petition to expunge pertains.
    • Has never, prior to the date on which the application for a certificate of eligibility is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b).
    • Has not been adjudicated guilty of, or adjudicated delinquent for committing, any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains.
    • Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, former s.
      893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058, unless expunction is sought of a criminal history record previously sealed for 10 years pursuant to paragraph (h) and the record is otherwise eligible for expunction.
    • Is no longer under court supervision applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains.
    • Has previously obtained a court order sealing the record under this section, former s.
      893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058 for a minimum of 10 years because adjudication was withheld or because all charges related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains were not dismissed prior to trial, without regard to whether the outcome of the trial was other than an adjudication of guilt. The requirement for the record to have previously been sealed for a minimum of 10 years does not apply when a plea was not entered or all charges related to the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains were dismissed prior to trial.
  • PROCESSING OF A PETITION OR ORDER TO EXPUNGE.–
    • In judicial proceedings under this section, a copy of the completed petition to expunge shall be served upon the appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and upon the arresting agency; however, it is not necessary to make any agency other than the state a party. The appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the arresting agency may respond to the court regarding the completed petition to expunge.
    • If relief is granted by the court, the clerk of the court shall certify copies of the order to the appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the arresting agency. The arresting agency is responsible for forwarding the order to any other agency to which the arresting agency disseminated the criminal history record information to which the order pertains. The department shall forward the order to expunge to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The clerk of the court shall certify a copy of the order to any other agency which the records of the court reflect has received the criminal history record from the court.
    • For an order to expunge entered by a court prior to July 1, 1992, the department shall notify the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor of an order to expunge which is contrary to law because the person who is the subject of the record has previously been convicted of a crime or comparable ordinance violation or has had a prior criminal history record sealed or expunged. Upon receipt of such notice, the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor shall take action, within 60 days, to correct the record and petition the court to void the order to expunge. The department shall seal the record until such time as the order is voided by the court.
    • On or after July 1, 1992, the department or any other criminal justice agency is not required to act on an order to expunge entered by a court when such order does not comply with the requirements of this section. Upon receipt of such an order, the department must notify the issuing court, the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor, the petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney, and the arresting agency of the reason for noncompliance. The appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor shall take action within 60 days to correct the record and petition the court to void the order. No cause of action, including contempt of court, shall arise against any criminal justice agency for failure to comply with an order to expunge when the petitioner for such order failed to obtain the certificate of eligibility as required by this section or such order does not otherwise comply with the requirements of this section.
  • EFFECT OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD EXPUNCTION.–Any criminal history record of a minor or an adult which is ordered expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to this section must be physically destroyed or obliterated by any criminal justice agency having custody of such record; except that any criminal history record in the custody of the department must be retained in all cases. A criminal history record ordered expunged that is retained by the department is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and not available to any person or entity except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. A criminal justice agency may retain a notation indicating compliance with an order to expunge.
    • (a) The person who is the subject of a criminal history record that is expunged under this section or under other provisions of law, including former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, and former s. 943.058, may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record, except when the subject of the record:
      • Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
      • Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
      • Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief under this section or s. 943.059;
      • Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
      • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, the aged, or the elderly as provided in s. 110.1127(3), s. 393.063, s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s. 402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), chapter 916, s. 985.644, chapter 400, or chapter 429;
      • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities; or
      • Is seeking authorization from a Florida seaport identified in s. 311.09 for employment within or access to one or more of such seaports pursuant to s. 311.12 or s. 311.125.
      • (b) Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a person who has been granted an expunction under this section, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058 may not be held under any provision of law of this state to commit perjury or to be otherwise liable for giving a false statement by reason of such person’s failure to recite or acknowledge an expunged criminal history record.
      • (c) Information relating to the existence of an expunged criminal history record which is provided in accordance with paragraph (a) is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except that the department shall disclose the existence of a criminal history record ordered expunged to the entities set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., 6., and 7. for their respective licensing, access authorization, and employment purposes, and to criminal justice agencies for their respective criminal justice purposes. It is unlawful for any employee of an entity set forth in subparagraph (a)1., subparagraph (a)4., subparagraph (a)5., subparagraph (a)6., or subparagraph (a)7. to disclose information relating to the existence of an expunged criminal history record of a person seeking employment, access authorization, or licensure with such entity or contractor, except to the person to whom the criminal history record relates or to persons having direct responsibility for employment, access authorization, or licensure decisions. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  • STATUTORY REFERENCES.–Any reference to any other chapter, section, or subdivision of the Florida Statutes in this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.

Florida Record Sealing Statute (F.S. 943.059)

943.059  Court-ordered sealing of criminal history records.–The courts of this state shall continue to have jurisdiction over their own procedures, including the maintenance, sealing, and correction of judicial records containing criminal history information to the extent such procedures are not inconsistent with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties established by this section. Any court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal justice agency to seal the criminal history record of a minor or an adult who complies with the requirements of this section. The court shall not order a criminal justice agency to seal a criminal history record until the person seeking to seal a criminal history record has applied for and received a certificate of eligibility for sealing pursuant to subsection (2). A criminal history record that relates to a violation of s. 393.135, s. 394.4593, s. 787.025, chapter 794, s. 796.03, s. 800.04, s. 810.14, s. 817.034, s. 825.1025, s. 827.071, chapter 839, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135, s. 847.0145, s. 893.135, s. 916.1075, a violation enumerated in s. 907.041, or any violation specified as a predicate offense for registration as a sexual predator pursuant to s. 775.21, without regard to whether that offense alone is sufficient to require such registration, or for registration as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435, may not be sealed, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld, if the defendant was found guilty of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to the offense, or if the defendant, as a minor, was found to have committed or pled guilty or nolo contendere to committing the offense as a delinquent act. The court may only order sealing of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity, except as provided in this section. The court may, at its sole discretion, order the sealing of a criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest. If the court intends to order the sealing of records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not seal any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the order to seal does not articulate the intention of the court to seal records pertaining to more than one arrest. This section does not prevent the court from ordering the sealing of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a criminal justice agency may comply with laws, court orders, and official requests of other jurisdictions relating to sealing, correction, or confidential handling of criminal history records or information derived therefrom. This section does not confer any right to the sealing of any criminal history record, and any request for sealing a criminal history record may be denied at the sole discretion of the court.

  • PETITION TO SEAL A CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD.–Each petition to a court to seal a criminal history record is complete only when accompanied by:
    • A valid certificate of eligibility for sealing issued by the department pursuant to subsection (2).
    • The petitioner’s sworn statement attesting that the petitioner:
    • Has never, prior to the date on which the petition is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b).
    • Has not been adjudicated guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to seal pertains.
    • Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, former s. 943.058, or from any jurisdiction outside the state.
    • Is eligible for such a sealing to the best of his or her knowledge or belief and does not have any other petition to seal or any petition to expunge pending before any court.

    Any person who knowingly provides false information on such sworn statement to the court commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    • CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR SEALING.–Prior to petitioning the court to seal a criminal history record, a person seeking to seal a criminal history record shall apply to the department for a certificate of eligibility for sealing. The department shall, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, establish procedures pertaining to the application for and issuance of certificates of eligibility for sealing. A certificate of eligibility for sealing is valid for 12 months after the date stamped on the certificate when issued by the department. After that time, the petitioner must reapply to the department for a new certificate of eligibility. Eligibility for a renewed certification of eligibility must be based on the status of the applicant and the law in effect at the time of the renewal application. The department shall issue a certificate of eligibility for sealing to a person who is the subject of a criminal history record provided that such person:
      • Has submitted to the department a certified copy of the disposition of the charge to which the petition to seal pertains.
      • Remits a $75 processing fee to the department for placement in the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, unless such fee is waived by the executive director.
      • Has never, prior to the date on which the application for a certificate of eligibility is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation, or been adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b).
      • Has not been adjudicated guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to seal pertains.
      • Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058.
      • Is no longer under court supervision applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to seal pertains.
    • PROCESSING OF A PETITION OR ORDER TO SEAL.–
      • In judicial proceedings under this section, a copy of the completed petition to seal shall be served upon the appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and upon the arresting agency; however, it is not necessary to make any agency other than the state a party. The appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the arresting agency may respond to the court regarding the completed petition to seal.
      • If relief is granted by the court, the clerk of the court shall certify copies of the order to the appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and to the arresting agency. The arresting agency is responsible for forwarding the order to any other agency to which the arresting agency disseminated the criminal history record information to which the order pertains. The department shall forward the order to seal to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The clerk of the court shall certify a copy of the order to any other agency which the records of the court reflect has received the criminal history record from the court.
      • For an order to seal entered by a court prior to July 1, 1992, the department shall notify the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor of any order to seal which is contrary to law because the person who is the subject of the record has previously been convicted of a crime or comparable ordinance violation or has had a prior criminal history record sealed or expunged. Upon receipt of such notice, the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor shall take action, within 60 days, to correct the record and petition the court to void the order to seal. The department shall seal the record until such time as the order is voided by the court.
      • On or after July 1, 1992, the department or any other criminal justice agency is not required to act on an order to seal entered by a court when such order does not comply with the requirements of this section. Upon receipt of such an order, the department must notify the issuing court, the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor, the petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney, and the arresting agency of the reason for noncompliance. The appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor shall take action within 60 days to correct the record and petition the court to void the order. No cause of action, including contempt of court, shall arise against any criminal justice agency for failure to comply with an order to seal when the petitioner for such order failed to obtain the certificate of eligibility as required by this section or when such order does not comply with the requirements of this section.
      • An order sealing a criminal history record pursuant to this section does not require that such record be surrendered to the court, and such record shall continue to be maintained by the department and other criminal justice agencies.
    • EFFECT OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SEALING.–A criminal history record of a minor or an adult which is ordered sealed by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and is available only to the person who is the subject of the record, to the subject’s attorney, to criminal justice agencies for their respective criminal justice purposes, which include conducting a criminal history background check for approval of firearms purchases or transfers as authorized by state or federal law, or to those entities set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., 6., and 8. for their respective licensing, access authorization, and employment purposes.
      • The subject of a criminal history record sealed under this section or under other provisions of law, including former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, and former s. 943.058, may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the sealed record, except when the subject of the record:
        • Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
          • Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
          • Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief under this section or s. 943.0585;
          • Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
          • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Family Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, the aged, or the elderly as provided in s. 110.1127(3), s. 393.063, s. 394.4572(1), s. 397.451, s. 402.302(3), s. 402.313(3), s. 409.175(2)(i), s. 415.102(4), s. 415.103, chapter 916, s. 985.644, chapter 400, or chapter 429;
          • Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department of Education, any district school board, any university laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities;
          • Is attempting to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer and is subject to a criminal history background check under state or federal law; or
          • Is seeking authorization from a Florida seaport identified in s. 311.09 for employment within or access to one or more of such seaports pursuant to s. 311.12 or s. 311.125.
      • Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a person who has been granted a sealing under this section, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058 may not be held under any provision of law of this state to commit perjury or to be otherwise liable for giving a false statement by reason of such person’s failure to recite or acknowledge a sealed criminal history record.
      • Information relating to the existence of a sealed criminal record provided in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a) is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except that the department shall disclose the sealed criminal history record to the entities set forth in subparagraphs (a)1., 4., 5., 6., and 8. for their respective licensing, access authorization, and employment purposes. It is unlawful for any employee of an entity set forth in subparagraph (a)1., subparagraph (a)4., subparagraph (a)5., subparagraph (a)6., or subparagraph (a)8. to disclose information relating to the existence of a sealed criminal history record of a person seeking employment, access authorization, or licensure with such entity or contractor, except to the person to whom the criminal history record relates or to persons having direct responsibility for employment, access authorization, or licensure decisions. Any person who violates the provisions of this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    • STATUTORY REFERENCES.–Any reference to any other chapter, section, or subdivision of the Florida Statutes in this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.

Comments are closed.