Florida Senate - 2022 SB 1488 By Senator Bracy 11-01548-22 20221488__ 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 for expunction; requiring a petitioner to obtain a 6 certificate of eligibility for expunction from the 7 Department of Law Enforcement; requiring the 8 department to adopt rules; requiring the department to 9 issue a certificate of eligibility for expunction if a 10 person meets specified criteria; providing that such 11 certificates are valid for a specified timeframe; 12 providing requirements for a petition for expunction; 13 providing criminal penalties; providing court 14 procedures for expunction; providing for the 15 processing of a petition or an order for expunction; 16 authorizing the person who is the subject of an 17 expunction order to lawfully deny or fail to 18 acknowledge the arrest and notice to appear; providing 19 exceptions; providing that a petition for expunction 20 of certain cannabis offenses does not prevent the 21 petitioner from applying to seal or expunge other 22 criminal arrests; providing construction; providing an 23 effective date. 24 25 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 26 27 Section 1. Section 943.0586, Florida Statutes, is created 28 to read: 29 943.0586 Expunction of criminal history records relating to 30 qualifying cannabis offenses.— 31 (1) ELIGIBILITY.—A person is eligible to petition a court 32 to expunge a criminal history record under this section if all 33 of the following apply: 34 (a) The person was arrested or given a notice to appear for 35 a misdemeanor offense for obtaining, purchasing, or possessing 36 20 grams or less of cannabis, regardless of disposition. 37 (b) The person was not convicted of, or did not plead no 38 contest to, a contemporaneous offense other than the misdemeanor 39 offense for obtaining, purchasing, or possessing 20 grams or 40 less of cannabis. 41 (c) At least 1 year has elapsed since the disposition of 42 the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition to 43 expunge pertains. 44 (d) The person is no longer under court supervision 45 applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal 46 activity to which the petition to expunge pertains. 47 (e) The person has not previously been granted relief under 48 this section. 49 (2) CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY.—Before petitioning a court 50 to expunge a criminal history record, a person seeking to 51 expunge a criminal history record must apply to the department 52 for a certificate of eligibility for expunction. The department 53 shall adopt rules to establish procedures for applying for and 54 issuing a certificate of eligibility for expunction. 55 (a) The department shall issue a certificate of eligibility 56 for expunction to a person who is the subject of a criminal 57 history record if that person: 58 1. Satisfies the eligibility criteria in paragraphs (1)(a) 59 (e) and is not ineligible under s. 943.0584; 60 2. Has submitted to the department a written certified 61 statement from the appropriate state attorney or statewide 62 prosecutor which confirms that the person meets the criteria in 63 paragraphs (1)(a)-(d); 64 3. Has submitted to the department a certified copy of the 65 disposition of the charge to which the petition to expunge 66 pertains; and 67 4. Remits a processing fee, equal to the fee charged 68 pursuant to s. 943.0585(2)(a)4., to the department, unless the 69 executive director waives such fee. Moneys collected from such 70 fees must be placed in the Department of Law Enforcement 71 Operating Trust Fund. 72 (b) A certificate of eligibility for expunction is valid 73 for 12 months after the date stamped on the certificate upon 74 issuance by the department. After that time, the petitioner must 75 reapply to the department for a new certificate of eligibility. 76 The petitioner’s status and the law in effect at the time of the 77 renewal application determine the petitioner’s eligibility. 78 (3) PETITION.—Each petition to expunge a criminal history 79 record must be accompanied by all of the following: 80 (a) A valid certificate of eligibility issued by the 81 department. 82 (b) The petitioner’s sworn statement that he or she: 83 1. Satisfies the eligibility requirements for expunction in 84 subsection (1). 85 2. Is eligible for expunction to the best of his or her 86 knowledge and does not have any other petition to seal or 87 expunge a criminal history record pending before any court. 88 89 A person who knowingly provides false information on such sworn 90 statement commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as 91 provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 92 (4) COURT AUTHORITY.— 93 (a) The courts of this state have jurisdiction over their 94 own procedures, including the maintenance, expunction, and 95 correction of judicial records containing criminal history 96 information, to the extent that such procedures are not 97 inconsistent with the conditions, responsibilities, and duties 98 established by this section. 99 (b) A court of competent jurisdiction may order a criminal 100 justice agency to expunge the criminal history record of a minor 101 or an adult who complies with the requirements of this section. 102 The court may not order a criminal justice agency to expunge a 103 criminal history record until the person seeking to expunge a 104 criminal history record has applied for and received a 105 certificate of eligibility under subsection (2). 106 (c) The court may order expunction of a criminal history 107 record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged 108 criminal activity only, except that the court may order the 109 expunction of a criminal history record pertaining to more than 110 one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the 111 original arrest. If the court intends to order the expunction of 112 records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must 113 be specified in the order. A criminal justice agency may not 114 expunge any record pertaining to such additional arrests if the 115 order to expunge does not articulate the intention of the court 116 to expunge a record pertaining to more than one arrest. This 117 section does not prevent the court from ordering the expunction 118 of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one 119 arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity. 120 (d) This section does not confer any right to expunction of 121 any criminal history record, and any request for expunction of a 122 criminal history record may be denied at the sole discretion of 123 the court. 124 (5) PROCESSING OF A PETITION OR AN ORDER.— 125 (a) In judicial proceedings under this section, a copy of 126 the completed petition to expunge must be served upon the 127 appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and upon 128 the arresting agency; however, it is not necessary to make any 129 agency other than the state a party to the proceedings. The 130 appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and the 131 arresting agency may respond to the court regarding the 132 completed petition to expunge. 133 (b) If the court grants the petition, the clerk of the 134 court must certify copies of the order granting the petition to 135 the appropriate state attorney or the statewide prosecutor and 136 the arresting agency. The arresting agency shall forward the 137 order to any other agency to which the arresting agency 138 disseminated the criminal history record information to which 139 the order pertains. The department shall forward the order to 140 expunge to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The clerk of the 141 court shall certify a copy of the order to any other agency or 142 entity that has received the criminal history record from the 143 court. 144 (c) The department or any other criminal justice agency is 145 not required to act on an order to expunge entered by a court 146 when such order does not comply with the requirements of this 147 section. Upon receipt of such an order, the department must 148 notify the issuing court, the appropriate state attorney or 149 statewide prosecutor, the petitioner or the petitioner’s 150 attorney, and the arresting agency of the reason for 151 noncompliance. The appropriate state attorney or statewide 152 prosecutor shall take action within 60 days after being notified 153 by the department to correct the record and petition the court 154 to void the order. A cause of action, including contempt of 155 court, may not arise against any criminal justice agency for 156 failure to comply with an order to expunge when the petitioner 157 for such order failed to obtain the certificate of eligibility 158 as required by this section or such order does not otherwise 159 comply with the requirements of this section. 160 (6) EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.— 161 (a) The person who is the subject of a criminal history 162 record expunged under this section may lawfully deny or fail to 163 acknowledge the arrests and notices to appear covered by the 164 expunged record, except when the subject of the record: 165 1. Is a candidate for employment with a criminal justice 166 agency; 167 2. Is a defendant in a criminal prosecution; 168 3. Is a candidate for admission to The Florida Bar; 169 4. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by or to contract 170 with the Department of Children and Families, the Division of 171 Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Education, 172 the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for 173 Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Health, the 174 Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Juvenile 175 Justice or to be employed or used by such contractor or licensee 176 in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the 177 disabled, or the elderly; 178 5. Is seeking to be employed or licensed by the Department 179 of Education, any district school board, any university 180 laboratory school, any charter school, any private or parochial 181 school, or any local governmental entity that licenses child 182 care facilities; 183 6. Is seeking to be licensed by the Division of Insurance 184 Agent and Agency Services within the Department of Financial 185 Services; or 186 7. Is seeking to be appointed as a guardian pursuant to s. 187 744.3125. 188 (b) Subject to the exceptions in paragraph (a), a person 189 granted an expunction under this section may not be held under 190 state law to have committed perjury and is not otherwise liable 191 for giving a false statement by reason of his or her failure to 192 recite or acknowledge an expunged criminal history record. 193 (7) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS ON EXPUNCTION OR SEALING. 194 Expunction or sealing of records granted under this section does 195 not prevent the person who receives such relief from petitioning 196 for the expunction or sealing of a criminal history record as 197 provided for in ss. 943.0583, 943.0585, and 943.059 if the 198 person is otherwise eligible under those sections. 199 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.