Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 468 By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Bracy 590-02872-21 2021468c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to expunction of criminal history 3 records relating to certain cannabis offenses; 4 creating s. 943.0586, F.S.; providing for eligibility; 5 requiring a petitioner to obtain a certificate of 6 eligibility from the Department of Law Enforcement; 7 requiring the department to adopt rules; providing 8 application requirements and contents of a certificate 9 of eligibility for expunction; requiring the 10 department to issue a certificate of eligibility for 11 expunction if a person meets specified criteria; 12 providing contents of a petition; providing court 13 procedures for expungement; providing that the subject 14 of an expungement order may lawfully deny or fail to 15 acknowledge the arrest and notice to appear; providing 16 exceptions; providing that a petition for expunction 17 of certain cannabis offenses does not foreclose the 18 petitioner from applying to seal or expunge other 19 criminal arrests; providing an effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 943.0586, Florida Statutes, is created 24 to read: 25 943.0586 Expunction of criminal history records relating to 26 qualifying cannabis offenses.— 27 (1) ELIGIBILITY.—A person is eligible to petition a court 28 to expunge a criminal history record under this section if all 29 of the following apply: 30 (a) The person was arrested or given a notice to appear for 31 a misdemeanor offense for obtaining, purchasing, or possessing 32 20 grams or less of cannabis, regardless of disposition. 33 (b) The person was not convicted of, or did not plead no 34 contest to, a contemporaneous offense other than the misdemeanor 35 offense for obtaining, purchasing, or possessing 20 grams or 36 less of cannabis. 37 (c) At least one year has elapsed since the disposition of 38 the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to 39 expunge pertains. 40 (d) The person is no longer under court supervision 41 applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal 42 activity to which the petition to expunge pertains. 43 (e) The person has not previously been granted relief under 44 this section. 45 (2) CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY.—Before petitioning a court 46 to expunge a criminal history record, a person seeking to 47 expunge a criminal history record must apply to the department 48 for a certificate of eligibility for expunction. The department 49 shall adopt rules to establish procedures for applying for and 50 issuing a certificate of eligibility for expunction. 51 (a) The department shall issue a certificate of eligibility 52 for expunction to a person who is the subject of a criminal 53 history record if that person: 54 1. Satisfies the eligibility criteria in paragraphs (1)(a) 55 (e) and is not ineligible under s. 943.0584; 56 2. Has submitted to the department a written certified 57 statement from the appropriate state attorney or statewide 58 prosecutor which confirms the criminal history record complies 59 with the criteria in paragraphs (1)(a)-(d); 60 3. Has submitted to the department a certified copy of the 61 disposition of the charge to which the petition to expunge 62 pertains; and 63 4. Remits a processing fee, equal to that fee charged 64 pursuant to s. 943.0585(2)(a)4., to the department for placement 65 in the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund, 66 unless the executive director waives such fee. 67 (b) A certificate of eligibility for expunction is valid 68 for 12 months after the date stamped on the certificate when 69 issued by the department. After that time, the petitioner must 70 reapply to the department for a new certificate of eligibility. 71 The petitioner’s status and the law in effect at the time of the 72 renewal application determine the petitioner’s eligibility. 73 (3) PETITION.—Each petition to expunge a criminal history 74 record must be accompanied by all of the following: 75 (a) A valid certificate of eligibility issued by the 76 department. 77 (b) The petitioner’s sworn statement that he or she: 78 1. Satisfies the eligibility requirements for expunction in 79 subsection (1). 80 2. Is eligible for expunction to the best of his or her 81 knowledge and does not have any other petition to seal or 82 expunge a criminal history record pending before any court. 83 84 A person who knowingly provides false information on such sworn 85 statement commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as 86 provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 87 (4) COURT AUTHORITY.— 88 (a) The courts of this state have jurisdiction over their 89 own procedures, including the maintenance, expunction, and 90 correction of judicial records containing criminal history 91 information, to the extent that such procedures are not 92 inconsistent with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties 93 established by this section. 94 (b) A court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal 95 justice agency to expunge the criminal history record of a minor 96 or an adult who complies with the requirements of this section. 97 The court may not order a criminal justice agency to expunge a 98 criminal history record until the person seeking to expunge a 99 criminal history record has applied for and received a 100 certificate of eligibility under subsection (2). 101 (c) The court may order expunction of a criminal history 102 record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged 103 criminal activity only, except that the court may order the 104 expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to more than 105 one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the 106 original arrest. If the court intends to order the expunction of 107 records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must 108 be specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not 109 expunge any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the 110 order to expunge does not articulate the intention of the court 111 to expunge a record pertaining to more than one arrest. This 112 section does not prevent the court from ordering the expunction 113 of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one 114 arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity. 115 (d) This section does not confer any right to expunction of 116 any criminal history record, and any request for expunction of a 117 criminal history record may be denied at the sole discretion of 118 the court. 119 (5) PROCESSING OF A PETITION OR AN ORDER.— 120 (a) In judicial proceedings under this section, a copy of 121 the completed petition to expunge shall be served upon the 122 appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and upon 123 the arresting agency; however, it is not necessary to make any 124 agency other than the state a party. The appropriate state 125 attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the arresting agency 126 may respond to the court regarding the completed petition to 127 expunge. 128 (b) If relief is granted by the court, the clerk of the 129 court shall certify copies of the order to the appropriate state 130 attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the arresting agency. 131 The arresting agency shall forward the order to any other agency 132 to which the arresting agency disseminated the criminal history 133 record information to which the order pertains. The department 134 shall forward the order to expunge to the Federal Bureau of 135 Investigation. The clerk of the court shall certify a copy of 136 the order to any other agency which the records of the court 137 reflect has received the criminal history record from the court. 138 (c) The department or any other criminal justice agency is 139 not required to act on an order to expunge entered by a court 140 when such order does not comply with the requirements of this 141 section. Upon receipt of such an order, the department must 142 notify the issuing court, the appropriate state attorney or 143 statewide prosecutor, the petitioner or the petitioner’s 144 attorney, and the arresting agency of the reason for 145 noncompliance. The appropriate state attorney or statewide 146 prosecutor shall take action within 60 days to correct the 147 record and petition the court to void the order. No cause of 148 action, including contempt of court, shall arise against any 149 criminal justice agency for failure to comply with an order to 150 expunge when the petitioner for such order failed to obtain the 151 certificate of eligibility as required by this section or such 152 order does not otherwise comply with the requirements of this 153 section. 154 (6) EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.— 155 (a) The person who is the subject of a criminal history 156 record that is expunged under this section may lawfully deny or 157 fail to acknowledge the arrests and notices to appear covered by 158 the expunged record, except when the subject of the record: 159 1. Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice 160 agency; 161 2. Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution; 162 3. Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar; 163 4. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract 164 with the Department of Children and Families, the Division of 165 Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, 166 the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for 167 Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the 168 Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile 169 Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee 170 in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the 171 disabled, or the elderly; 172 5. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department 173 of Education, any district school board, any university 174 laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial 175 school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child 176 care facilities; 177 6. Is seeking to be licensed by the Division of Insurance 178 Agent and Agency Services within the Department of Financial 179 Services; or 180 7. Is seeking to be appointed as a guardian pursuant to s. 181 744.3125. 182 (b) Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a person 183 who has been granted an expunction under this section may not be 184 held under any provision of law of this state to commit perjury 185 or to be otherwise liable for giving a false statement by reason 186 of such person’s failure to recite or acknowledge an expunged 187 criminal history record. 188 (7) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS ON EXPUNCTION OR SEALING. 189 Expunction or sealing granted under this section does not 190 prevent the person who receives such relief from petitioning for 191 the expunction or sealing of a criminal history record as 192 provided for in ss. 943.0583, 943.0585, and 943.059, if the 193 person is otherwise eligible under those sections. 194 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.