Florida Juvenile Record Sealing Law - Statute § 943.0515 & 943.0581 & 943.0582

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Full Florida Statute Section 943.0515 & 943.0581 & 943.0582

943.0515. Retention of criminal history records of minors

(1) (a) The Criminal Justice Information Program shall retain the criminal history record of a minor who is classified as a serious or habitual juvenile offender or committed to a juvenile correctional facility or juvenile prison under chapter 985 for 5 years after the date the offender reaches 21 years of age, at which time the record shall be expunged unless it meets the criteria of paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b).

(b)

  1. If the minor is not classified as a serious or habitual juvenile offender or committed to a juvenile correctional facility or juvenile prison under chapter 985, the program shall retain the minor’s criminal history record for 2 years after the date the minor reaches 19 years of age, at which time the record shall be expunged unless it meets the criteria of paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b).

  2. A minor described in subparagraph 1. may apply to the department to have his or her criminal history record expunged before the minor reaches 21 years of age. To be eligible for expunction under this subparagraph, the minor must be 18 years of age or older and less than 21 years of age and have not been charged by the state attorney with or found to have committed any criminal offense within the 5-year period before the application date. The only offenses eligible to be expunged under this subparagraph are those that the minor committed before the minor reached 18 years of age. A criminal history record expunged under this subparagraph requires the approval of the state attorney for each circuit in which an offense specified in the criminal history record occurred. A minor seeking to expunge a criminal history record under this subparagraph shall apply to the department for expunction in the manner prescribed by rule. An application for expunction under this subparagraph shall include:

    a. A processing fee of $75 to the department for placement in the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, unless such fee is waived by the executive director.

    b. A full set of fingerprints of the applicant taken by a law enforcement agency for purposes of identity verification.

    c. A sworn, written statement from the minor seeking relief that he or she is no longer under court supervision applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application to expunge pertains and that he or she has not been charged with or found to have committed a criminal offense, in any jurisdiction of the state or within the United States, within the 5-year period before the application date. A person who knowingly provides false information on the sworn statement required by this sub-subparagraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

  3. A minor who applies, but who is not approved for early expunction in accordance with subparagraph 2., shall have his or her criminal history record expunged at age 21 if eligible under subparagraph 1.

(2)(a) If a person 18 years of age or older is charged with or convicted of a forcible felony and the person’s criminal history record as a minor has not yet been destroyed, the person’s record as a minor must be merged with the person’s adult criminal history record and must be retained as a part of the person’s adult record.

(b) If, at any time, a minor is adjudicated as an adult for a forcible felony, the minor’s criminal history record prior to the time of the minor’s adjudication as an adult must be merged with his or her record as an adjudicated adult.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Criminal Justice Information Program shall retain the criminal history record of a minor adjudicated delinquent for a violation committed on or after July 1, 2007, as provided in s. 943.0435(1)(h)1.d. Such records may not be destroyed and must be merged with the person’s adult criminal history record and retained as a part of the person’s adult record. the person's adult criminal history record and retained as a part of the person's adult record.

Eff. July 1, 2016.

943.0581. Administrative expunction for arrests made contrary to law or by mistake.

(1) Notwithstanding any law dealing generally with the preservation and destruction of public records, the department may adopt a rule pursuant to chapter 120 for the administrative expunction of any nonjudicial record of an arrest of a minor or an adult made contrary to law or by mistake.

(2) A law enforcement agency shall apply to the department in the manner prescribed by rule for the administrative expunction of any nonjudicial record of any arrest of a minor or an adult who is subsequently determined by the agency, at its discretion, or by the final order of a court of competent jurisdiction, to have been arrested contrary to law or by mistake.

(3) An adult or, in the case of a minor child, the parent or legal guardian of the minor child, may apply to the department in the manner prescribed by rule for the administrative expunction of any nonjudicial record of an arrest alleged to have been made contrary to law or by mistake, provided that the application is supported by the endorsement of the head of the arresting agency or his or her designee or the state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the arrest occurred or his or her designee.

(4) An application for administrative expunction shall include the date and time of the arrest, the name of the person arrested, the offender-based tracking system (OBTS) number, and the crime or crimes charged. The application shall be on the submitting agency’s letterhead and shall be signed by the head of the submitting agency or his or her designee.

(5) If the person was arrested on a warrant, capias, or pickup order, a request for an administrative expunction may be made by the sheriff of the county in which the warrant, capias, or pickup order was issued or his or her designee or by the state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the warrant, capias, or pickup order was issued or his or her designee.

(6) An application or endorsement under this section is not admissible as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may not be construed in any way as an admission of liability in connection with an arrest.

Eff. Oct. 1, 2019

943.0582. Prearrest, postarrest, or teen court diversion program expunction

(1) Notwithstanding any law dealing generally with the preservation and destruction of public records, the department shall adopt rules to provide for the expunction of a nonjudicial record of the arrest of a minor who has successfully completed a diversion program for a misdemeanor offense.

(2) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Diversion program” means a program under s. 985.12, s. 985.125, s. 985.155, or s. 985.16 or a program to which a referral is made by a state attorney under s. 985.15.

(b) “Expunction” has the same meaning ascribed in and effect as s. 943.0585, except that:

  1. Section 943.0585(6)(b) does not apply, except that the criminal history record of a person whose record is expunged pursuant to this section shall be made available only to criminal justice agencies for the purpose of:

    a. Determining eligibility for diversion programs;

    b. A criminal investigation; or

    c. Making a prosecutorial decision under s. 985.15.

  2. Records maintained by local criminal justice agencies in the county in which the arrest occurred that are eligible for expunction pursuant to this section shall be sealed as the term is used in s. 943.059.

(3) The department shall expunge the nonjudicial arrest record of a minor who has successfully completed a diversion program if that minor:

(a) Submits an application for diversion expunction, on a form prescribed by the department, signed by the minor’s parent or legal guardian, or by the minor if he or she has reached the age of majority at the time of applying.

(b) Submits to the department, with the application, an official written statement from the state attorney for the county in which the arrest occurred certifying that he or she has successfully completed that county’s diversion program, that his or her participation in the program was based on an arrest for a misdemeanor, and that he or she has not otherwise been charged by the state attorney with, or found to have committed, any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.

(c) Has never been, before filing the application for expunction, charged by the state attorney with, or found to have committed, any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.

(4) Expunction or sealing granted under this section does not prevent the minor who receives such relief from petitioning for the expunction or sealing of a later criminal history record as provided for in ss. 943.0583, 943.0585, and 943.059, if the minor is otherwise eligible under those sections.

Eff. Oct. 1, 2019.