(The Center Square) – Legislation to revise and amend Florida statutes and the eligibility criteria under which a person can petition a court to expunge a criminal history are filed in both chambers of the Legislature.
Senate Bill 54 is sponsored by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Miami-Dade, and House Bill 97 is sponsored by Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs.
The bill text filed by Rodriguez states that it would expand “an exception to an eligibility requirement for expunction of a criminal history record to allow a prior expunction of a criminal history record granted for an offense committed when the person was a minor, etc.”
Florida law states that a person is not able to have their criminal record expunged when they are an adult if they had previously had their criminal record expunged while they were a minor.
To be eligible to petition a court for an expungement, an indictment, information, or other charging document that was filed or issued in the person’s case, must have been dismissed by a state attorney, state prosecutor, or a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
The exception, however, is if that individual’s dismissal was the result of a judgment of acquittal by the Florida Senate, or pursuant to certain state statutes.
According to one statute, if an individual has been found too incompetent to go on with court proceedings due to mental illness, charges could be dropped within three years – unless that person’s charges included crimes of sexual battery, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse or elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, murder, or manslaughter.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there are several types of expungement and record-sealing that an eligible individual can apply for, with the process taking around 12 weeks after the submission of an application.