–Written by Silvia McLain
Expunction of a criminal record requires all criminal justice agencies possessing such a record to physically destroy it. Once the record is expunged, a person may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge an arrest covered by the expunged record, subject to some exceptions. Expunction is prohibited if person was acquitted at trial, unless he or she has the record sealed for ten years.
2018 House bill 1065 changes the law and expands the eligibility for court-ordered expunction of criminal history records to include a person who received a judgement of acquittal by and judge or a not guilty verdict, whether by judge or jury. A person seeking expunction of a judgment of acquittal or not guilty verdict is no longer required to first seal the record for ten years, if otherwise eligible for expunction. The bill also grants Florida Department of Law Enforcement the authority to deny a certificate of eligibility based on a disqualifying offense. The bill amends Florida Statutes 943.0585 and 943.059. The bill was approved by the Governor on March of 2018 and will become effective on October 1, 2018.
Click here to view the bill.