2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVII CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CORRECTIONS
Chapter 943 DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
SECTION 0585Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records.
943.0585 Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records.—
(1) ELIGIBILITY.—A person is eligible to petition a court to expunge a criminal history record if:
(a) An indictment, information, or other charging document was not filed or issued in the case giving rise to the criminal history record.
(b) An indictment, information, or other charging document was filed or issued in the case giving rise to the criminal history record, was dismissed or nolle prosequi by the state attorney or statewide prosecutor, or was dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction or a judgment of acquittal was rendered by a judge, or a verdict of not guilty was rendered by a judge or jury.
(c) The person is not seeking to expunge a criminal history record that is ineligible for court-ordered expunction under s. 943.0584.
(d) The person has never, as of the date the application for a certificate of expunction is filed, been adjudicated guilty in this state of a criminal offense or been adjudicated delinquent in this state for committing any felony or any of the following misdemeanors, unless the record of such adjudication of delinquency has been expunged pursuant to s. 943.0515:
1. Assault, as defined in s. 784.011;
2. Battery, as defined in s. 784.03;
3. Assault on a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or other specified officers, as defined in s. 784.07(2)(a);
4. Carrying a concealed weapon, as defined in s. 790.01(2);
5. Open carrying of a weapon, as defined in s. 790.053;
6. Unlawful possession or discharge of a weapon or firearm at a school-sponsored event or on school property, as defined in s. 790.115;
7. Unlawful use of destructive devices or bombs, as defined in s. 790.1615(1);
8. Unlawful possession of a firearm, as defined in s. 790.22(5);
9. Exposure of sexual organs, as defined in s. 800.03;
10. Arson, as defined in s. 806.031(1);
11. Petit theft, as defined in s. 812.014(3);
12. Neglect of a child, as defined in s. 827.03(1)(e); or
13. Cruelty to animals, as defined in s. 828.12(1).
(e) The person 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.
(f) The person is no longer under court supervision applicable to the disposition of arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to expunge pertains.
(g) The person has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, s. 943.059, 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.
(h) The person has previously obtained a court-ordered sealing the criminal history record under s. 943.059, 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 before 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 if 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 before trial or a judgment of acquittal was rendered by a judge or a verdict of not guilty was rendered by a judge or jury.
(2) CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY.—Before petitioning a court to expunge a criminal history record, a person seeking to expunge a criminal history record must apply to the department for a certificate of eligibility for expunction. The department shall adopt rules to establish procedures for applying for and issuing a certificate of eligibility for expunction.
(a) 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:
1. Satisfies the eligibility criteria in paragraphs (1)(a)-(h) and is not ineligible under s. 943.0584.
2. Has submitted to the department a written certified statement from the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor which confirms the criminal history record complies with the criteria in paragraph (1)(a) or paragraphs (1)(b) and (c).
3. Has submitted to the department a certified copy of the disposition of the charge to which the petition to expunge pertains.
4. Remits a $75 processing fee to the department for placement in the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, unless the executive director waives such fee.
(b) 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. The petitioner’s status and the law in effect at the time of the renewal application determine the petitioner’s eligibility.
(3) PETITION.—Each petition to expunge a criminal history record must be accompanied by:
(a) A valid certificate of eligibility issued by the department.
(b) The petitioner’s sworn statement that he or she:
1. Satisfies the eligibility requirements for expunction in subsection (1).
2. Is eligible for expunction to the best of his or her knowledge and does not have any other petition to seal or expunge a criminal history record pending before any court.
(4) COURT AUTHORITY.—
(a) 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 that such procedures are not inconsistent with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties established by this section.
(b) A 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 may 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 under subsection (2).
(c) The court may order expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity only, except that the court may 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.
(d) 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.
(e) This section does not confer any right to 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.
(5) PROCESSING OF A PETITION OR AN ORDER.—
(a) 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.
(b) 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 shall forward 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.
(c) 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.
(6) EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.—
(a) 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 which is retained by the department is confidential and exempt from 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.
(b) 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 ss. 893.14, 901.33, and 943.058, may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged record, except when the subject of the record:
1. Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency;
2. Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution;
3. Concurrently or subsequently petitions for relief under this section, s. 943.0583, or s. 943.059;
4. Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar;
5. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract with the Department of Children and Families, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the Department of Elderly Affairs, 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 disabled, or the elderly;
6.a. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by, or contract with, the Department of Education, any district unit under s. 1001.30, any special district unit under s. 1011.24, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind under s. 1002.36, the Florida Virtual School under s. 1002.37, any virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45, any charter school under s. 1002.33, any hope operator under s. 1002.333, any alternative school under s. 1008.341, any private or parochial school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child care facilities;
b. Is seeking to be employed or used by a contractor or licensee under sub-subparagraph a.; or
c. Is a person screened under s. 1012.467;
7. Is seeking to be licensed by the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services within the Department of Financial Services; or
8. Is seeking to be appointed as a guardian pursuant to s. 744.3125.
(c) Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (b), 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.
(d) Information relating to the existence of an expunged criminal history record which is provided in accordance with paragraph (a) is confidential and exempt from 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 (b)1. and 4.-8. 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 (b)1., subparagraph (b)4., subparagraph (b)5., subparagraph (b)6., subparagraph (b)7., or subparagraph (b)8. 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. A person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 3, ch. 92-73; s. 43, ch. 93-39; s. 1, ch. 94-127; s. 19, ch. 94-154; s. 95, ch. 94-209; s. 140, ch. 95-418; s. 3, ch. 95-427; s. 52, ch. 96-169; s. 7, ch. 96-402; s. 443, ch. 96-406; s. 1847, ch. 97-102; s. 57, ch. 98-280; s. 115, ch. 99-3; s. 10, ch. 99-188; s. 4, ch. 99-300; s. 16, ch. 99-304; s. 3, ch. 2000-246; s. 27, ch. 2000-320; s. 115, ch. 2000-349; s. 4, ch. 2001-127; s. 1, ch. 2002-212; ss. 8, 97, ch. 2004-267; s. 1, ch. 2004-295; s. 22, ch. 2005-128; s. 118, ch. 2006-120; s. 10, ch. 2006-176; s. 27, ch. 2006-195; s. 109, ch. 2006-197; s. 5, ch. 2008-249; s. 8, ch. 2009-171; s. 7, ch. 2010-31; s. 17, ch. 2012-73; s. 18, ch. 2012-215; s. 4, ch. 2013-98; s. 25, ch. 2013-116; s. 169, ch. 2014-17; s. 35, ch. 2014-123; s. 6, ch. 2014-124; s. 27, ch. 2014-160; s. 11, ch. 2014-195; s. 1, ch. 2018-101; s. 110, ch. 2019-3; s. 50, ch. 2019-167; s. 5, ch. 2022-154; s. 33, ch. 2023-18.