Florida Criminal Records
Florida Criminal Records are official documents of crimes committed by people in the state. These documents, compiled from the county and state offices, law enforcement agencies, repositories, courts, and penal institutions, detail a person's dealings with law enforcement.
Most of these records in Florida contain the following information:
- The subject's personal information (full name, birth date, sex, and nationality)
- Any aliases
- A complete set of fingerprints
- Specific physical features
- Crimes committed (felony or misdemeanor)
- History of arrests, indictments, and convictions
Generally, as part of a background check, organizations review criminal records for various reasons in this state. Some employers use criminal backgrounds to evaluate whether or not to contract, recruit, or promote an employee.
To assess a person's qualifications, volunteer organizations, adoption agencies, landlords, and admissions offices for schools and colleges also run a criminal background check.
The majority of Florida Criminal Records are available to the public. In this state, the general public can obtain these materials under Florida Sunshine Laws unless limited explicitly by regulation or court order.
What Are the Types of Crimes in Florida?
Crimes in Florida are acts against the law and are punishable by the state or another authority. There are various forms of crimes in this state; however, the following are the most prevalent:
- Drug offenses
- Aggravated Assault
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Liquor law violations
In Florida, as in most states, these crimes fall into one of three broad categories: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions.
Florida's most severe criminal violation is a felony, usually penalized by more than one year in jail and a maximum punishment of $15,000. The state prison is where the defendant goes after being convicted.
There are five types of felonies in Florida, each with its own set of penalties:
This felony is Florida's least serious, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. These are some examples of crimes included in this category:
- Armed trespassing
- Aggravated stalking
- Theft of an automobile or a gun
This category includes crimes such as the possession of firearms, extortion, and vehicular homicide.
A person who commits one of these crimes could spend up to 15 years in prison and pay a fine of no more than $10,000.
First-degree felonies include aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, auto theft, and burglary with assault or battery.
If you are found guilty of these crimes, you could spend up to 30 years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
This kind of felony can get you life in prison and a fine of $15,000.
In Florida, the following crimes fall into this category:
- Kidnapping a child under 13 and committing a sex offense
- Selling or buying minors into trafficking
- Serious sexual battery on a child under 12
It is the most severe type of felony in this state. Most of the time, it leads to life in prison or the death penalty.
A prime example of a capital felony in Florida is first-degree murder.
Misdemeanors are less heinous crimes that can lead to a year in jail. Like many other states, Florida classifies misdemeanors depending on the possible jail term a perpetrator could face.
Here are the two degrees of misdemeanors in this state:
The maximum sentence for this misdemeanor is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Some examples of crimes that fall under this category are as follows:
- Property theft under $750
- Defying a protection or restraining order
- Indecent exposure
Florida's second-degree misdemeanors usually carry 60 days imprisonment and $500 fines.
The following are some examples of crimes classified as second-degree misdemeanors:
- Driving without a valid license
- Simple assault
- First-offense shoplifting
Unlike the first two types of crimes (felonies and misdemeanors), these violations do not lead to jail time, and there is no right to a jury trial or judicial council.
Nevertheless, penalties like fines, community work, driving school, probation, and license suspensions may apply to individuals guilty of these crimes.
According to Florida law, an infraction is a case in which a person is found guilty of a non-criminal traffic infraction. The following are some examples of such violations:
- Reckless driving
- Disobeying traffic control devices
- Unsafe or faulty vehicle equipment
- Broken red lights
- Seat belt and child safety seat violations
- Driving while texting
How Does Probation Work in Florida?
Probation in Florida is a judicial monitoring condition imposed on people guilty of misdemeanors or felonies. It serves as a means of rehabilitation and protecting the community by restricting individual freedoms.
The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) administers various forms of rehabilitation programs, including probation, in this state.
There are different kinds of Florida probation, but the most common ones are the following:
This kind of probation is most common in Florida. It mandates that defendants pay court costs, complete community work hours, and undergo treatment. Offenders must also report to the probation officer and accept visits at home or work.
This lenient form of probation, also known as summary probation, imposes control limits but does not necessitate offender meetings with a probation officer.
This particular form of probation helps to make the community a safer place. It is a house arrest requiring strict close monitoring by the probation office.
What Are the Probation Conditions in Florida?
Like other states, Florida has laws requiring criminal probation offenders to follow specific rules. Probationers who obtain supervised probation instead of incarceration can stay in the community if they follow these rules.
Section 948.03 of the Florida Statutes explains the standard rules and requirements of probation in this state. The court may impose further restrictions or make other modifications, but the following are the general terms:
- Report to the probation officer regularly
- Maintain a suitable job
- Permit probation officer to visit offender's residence, workplace, and other places they regularly attend
- Repay crime victims
- Support dependents financially
- Stay in a court-designated area
- Avoid new crimes
- Use only doctor-prescribed controlled substances
- Refusing to associate with anyone involved in criminal activity
- Random drug and alcohol testing
Notably, the court may also impose additional conditions. If you break the rules of your probation on purpose, the judge could give you the maximum two-year prison sentence. Depending on the judge, a lighter punishment is possible.
What Is the Florida Probation Period?
In Florida, probation usually lasts a long time, which is different from most other states. Depending on the offense's nature, the average probation duration usually varies from three to fifteen years.
You can, however, petition the court or discuss it with your community control officer or probation officer to reduce or modify your probation.
Also, you can ask the court to end your probation once you have met all the conditions. Moreover, if you have completed at least half of your probation term, you may also file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation.
How Does Parole Work in Florida?
The discharge of a prisoner before the conclusion of their judicial sentence is known as parole. As long as they comply with their release terms, it allows prisoners to serve their time in the community.
A parolee is subject to the same conditions as a probationer and must act per the law while under supervision.
The Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR) handles parole in this state. It enables parolees to finish their sentences outside incarceration.
When parolees get out of prison, they must follow strict supervision rules. If they break these rules, FCOR could send them back to prison.
Additionally, the FCOR determines how long a paroled individual will be under supervision.
After being released from a concurrent sentence, a parolee cannot be supervised for more than two years unless the FCOR specifies a more extended period and informs the parolee in writing. In any case, the time spent on parole cannot be longer than the maximum sentence.
However, parolees from consecutive sentences will be under supervision for the maximum sentence.
It is essential to note that, unlike other states with an active parole system, parole in Florida has become extremely rare. This state is very selective about who is eligible for parole, and the year and date of a prosecution make a significant difference.
Who is eligible for parole in Florida? Since this state abolished parole on October 1, 1983, only offenders sentenced before that date are eligible. Despite this, there are still over 5,000 inmates who are eligible for Florida parole.
How Does Expungement Work in Florida?
Florida expungement is the court-ordered removal of a criminal record so that it is no longer visible during background checks.
Generally, misdemeanor convictions and arrest records that did not result in a conviction qualify for expungement in Florida. However, individuals with felony convictions cannot have their records removed by the state expungement.
To start the expungement process, you must send the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) an application for a certificate of eligibility.
If you are eligible, FDLE will give you a certificate of eligibility after they check your criminal record. After receiving the certificate, you can petition the court to expunge your charges in the Florida Criminal Records.
Once expunged, a private record will stay in the custody of the FDLE for the specific purpose highlighted by law.
Who Is Eligible for Expunction in Florida?
More specifically, the following are the eligibility requirements for expungement in Florida:
- You have no prior expunged cases
- Your case has no indictments or other charging records
- You have no other court-pending expunge petitions
- You have no prior guilt or delinquency for any criminal act listed in Florida Statutes Section 943.051(3)(b)
How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Florida?
Typically, you can get Florida Criminal Records from the FDLE, which is in charge of all criminal records in this state. This agency only allows online illegal record access through its Criminal History Record Check web page.
It is essential to note that the FDLE does not provide free public criminal background checks, but you may request the organization for a fee waiver.
On this website, you must enter the person's full name and relevant information like birth date or approximate age to get these records. You can also specify the subject's gender and race to get more specific results.
After providing the necessary information and paying the application fee, you can print or email the search results.
You can also use the SHIELD portal to find certified Florida Criminal Records for official purposes. But this option takes a few weeks to get the results.
What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Florida?
In Florida, employers are not restricted in their rights to do background checks on employees. The state urges employers to conduct background checks by safeguarding them from negligent hiring claims. However, some laws protect the rights of the criminal record holder or the applicant during this process.
Here are the criminal background check laws in Florida:
Property management businesses and homeowners of transient and non-transient apartment complexes must comply with this law.
It requires landlords and property managers to perform thorough background checks on applicants, including criminal records and sex offender registry checks.
There is no statewide ban-the-box law in Florida. Nonetheless, several municipalities and counties have enacted local ban-the-box laws in this state.
For example, in January 2021, Lakeland City passed laws stipulating that employers can't ask about past convictions on job applications.
Several other cities in this state, including Gainesville, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Orlando, and Tallahassee, have also enacted these laws for public-sector employers.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Federal Trade Commission is in charge of enforcing this law. It asserts how employers can use information from employment background checks.
Under this law, employers must notify applicants in writing that they will carry out background checks and acquire their written permission. After a background check, they must complete the adverse action before rejecting an applicant.
Counties in Florida
- De Soto
- Indian River
- Miami Dade
- Palm Beach
- Saint Johns
- Saint Lucie
- Santa Rosa
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Florida
List of Content
- What Are the Types of Crimes in Florida?
- How Does Probation Work in Florida?
- How Does Parole Work in Florida?
- How Does Expungement Work in Florida?
- How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Florida?
- What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Florida?