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Florida Parole, Probation & Release All information & questions relating to parole, probation or release in Florida should be posted here.

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Old 11-06-2004, 09:18 AM
Phil in Paris Phil in Paris is offline
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Default Florida: After prison, roadblocks to reentry

ADOPTIVE AND FOSTER PARENTING

1. Does the state consider other criminal history records beyond the federal list of convictions barring people from becoming foster and/or adoptive parents?

Applicants for foster care and adoption must be barred by convictions or pleas of guilty or nolo contendere to other violent, sexual, and drug-related offenses and offenses based upon kidnaping and false imprisonment, certain weapons- and theft-related offenses, and offenses involving law enforcement and escape. The bar for drug-related offenses goes further than the discretionary federal law because the state law is mandatory. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 435.04.

2. Does the state restrict people from becoming foster and/or adoptive parents for longer than required by federal law?

Yes, the statute is silent on the length of the bars for both foster care and adoption so they operate as lifetime bars unless an exemption is granted. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 435.04 and .07.

3. May applicants be barred by the convictions of other household members?

No.

4. Does the state make individual determinations about an applicant’s eligibility based on the criminal record?

Yes. The Department of Children and Family Services may grant an exemption for the following types of offenses: (1) felonies more than 3 years old; (2) misdemeanors; (3) those that were felonies when committed but are now classified as misdemeanors; (4) delinquency adjudications; or (5) those involving domestic violence. Certain felony drug offenses may be exempted without the 3-year waiting period for individuals working with adolescents 13 years of age and older in treatment programs. In determining whether to grant an exemption, the Department will consider evidence of rehabilitation, e.g., the surrounding circumstances of the incident; time elapsed since the incident; nature of harm caused to the victim; applicant’s history since the incident; and any other evidence that the applicant will not pose a danger. Department decisions regarding exemptions may be contested. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 435.04 and .07.


ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS

1. Is there a time limit after which criminal history information is not reported to non-law enforcement entities for employment purposes?

No. (Per central repository.)

2. Other than the subject and criminal justice agencies, who can obtain records?

Non-criminal justice governmental agencies, the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division, Offices of the Public Defender, privately-operated county detention facilities, private state correctional facilities, juvenile assessment, detention, or treatment programs contracting with the Department of Justice, individuals or entities for research or statistical purposes, and qualified entities providing care to the elderly or individuals with disabilities. Fla. Stat. §§ 943.053, .0542, and .057.

3. What types of records can be disclosed to non-criminal justice agencies?

“Criminal history information” which includes arrests and dispositions, e.g., acquittals, dismissals, convictions, youthful offender determinations, pardons, probations, and paroles. Fla. Stat. § 943.045.

4. Are there penalties for violating limitations on dissemination?

No. (Per central repository.)

5. Are state criminal records available on the internet?

Yes, the records of currently incarcerated, under supervision, and released individuals are available on the Florida Department of Corrections website. (http://www6.myflorida.com/inmateinfo/inmateinfomenu.asp)

6. Can state criminal records of arrests not leading to conviction be sealed (including expunged, erased, or purged)?

Yes, most acquittals and withheld adjudications may be sealed if the individual is no longer under court supervision and has no previous convictions or juvenile adjudications for certain violent, sexual, or weapons-related misdemeanor or felony offenses. This relief is available only once. Most sealed records may be expunged after 10 years have elapsed. To “seal” a record means to make it inaccessible to anyone without a legal right to access. To “expunge” a record means to physically destroy it. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 943.045 and .059(1) and (2).

In addition, most dismissals, nolle prosses, and no informations can be expunged if the individual is no longer under court supervision and has no previous convictions or juvenile adjudications for certain violent, sexual, or weapons-related misdemeanor or felony offenses. Dismissals prior to trial or adjudication and withheld adjudications must first be sealed for 10 years before they can be expunged. This relief is available only once. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 943.0585(1) and (2).

7. If so, what is the effect of having an arrest sealed?

If sealed or expunged, the individual may deny the existence of the record in most circumstances. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 943.0585(4) and 943.059(4).

8. Can criminal conviction records be sealed (including expunged, erased, or purged)?

Adult convictions may not be sealed.

Serious and habitual juvenile offender records are expunged when the individual reaches age 26 unless s/he was adjudicated as an adult for a forcible felony. Unless adjudicated as an adult for a forcible felony, other juvenile offender records are expunged when the individual reaches the age of 24. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 943.0515(1).

9. If so, what is the effect of having a conviction sealed?

If expunged, the individual may deny the existence of the juvenile record in most circumstances. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 943.0585(4).

DRIVERS' LICENSE PRIVILEGES


1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers’ licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses?

Yes. The driver’s licenses of individuals convicted of drug-related offenses who are 18 years of age or older are revoked. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 322.055.

2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation?

Range of drug-related offenses, including possession, sale, and trafficking. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 322.055.

3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation?

Six months to 2 years, or until the person is evaluated for, and if deemed necessary, completes a drug treatment program. The suspension or revocation can be extended an additional two years if the person is already under supervision or revocation when convicted. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 322.055.

4. Does the state offer restricted drivers’ licenses for purposes of employment, education, and/or medical care?

A restricted license may be granted after 6 months for business or employment purposes only. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 322.055.


EMPLOYMENT


1. Can employers ask job applicants about arrests not leading to conviction?

Yes.

2. Can employers consider arrests not leading to conviction?

Yes.

3. Does the state have standards prohibiting employment discrimination by public employers and occupational licensing agencies based on a conviction record?

Yes, for public employment. No, in most instances, for occupational licensure. Public employment may not be denied solely because of a conviction record. Most public employers, except for law enforcement, fire departments, and those critical to public safety and security, may only deny an applicant employment if convicted of a felony or first degree misdemeanor that is “directly related” to the job. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 112.011. However, an individual with a felony conviction involving the sale of controlled substances is ineligible for public employment or licensure unless s/he has completed his/her sentences or is completing or completed drug treatment and submitting to periodic drug testing. Successful completion of a Correctional Education Program may also satisfy the eligibility requirements for occupational licensure. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.16.

4. Does the state have standards prohibiting employment discrimination by private employers based on a conviction record?

No.

5. Does the state restrict people with criminal records from employment in the field of home health care?

Applicants for home health care employment must not have been found guilty or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to certain violent (including domestic violence) and sexual offenses, drug- and theft-related felony offenses, and crimes against children, elderly or disabled persons. Bars for felony offenses may not be lifted by a pardon, executive clemency, or restoration of civil rights. The Department of Health may grant exemptions for the following types of offenses: • felonies more than 3 years old; • misdemeanors; • those that were felonies when committed but are now classified as misdemeanors; • delinquency adjudications; or • those involving domestic violence. Certain felony drug offenses may be exempted without the 3-year waiting period for individuals working with adolescents 13 years of age and older in treatment programs. In determining whether to grant an exemption, the Department will consider evidence of rehabilitation, e.g., the surrounding circumstances of the incident; time elapsed since the incident; nature of harm caused to the victim; applicant’s history since the incident; and any other evidence that the applicant will not pose a danger. Department decisions regarding exemptions may be contested. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 400.512, 435.03, and 435.07.

6. After an individual has been convicted, does the state offer any mechanism to demonstrate that an individual has been rehabilitated?

The Governor may grant pardons. Restoration of all civil rights enjoyed prior to conviction may also be granted following receipt of a full pardon from the Board of Pardons, completion of the sentence, or final release from parole. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 940.01 and .05. Neither a pardon nor restoration of civil rights automatically lifts occupational bars. Telephone interview with Mr. Walker, Office of Executive Clemency, 850-488-2952 (August 9, 2002).


PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND FOOD STAMPS

1. Are people with drug-felony convictions dated after 1996 eligible to receive TANF benefits and food stamps?

Yes, Florida has modified the drug felon ban. Individuals convicted of drug trafficking are denied benefits. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 414.095(1).


PUBLIC HOUSING


1. Does the Housing Authority consider arrests that did not lead to conviction in its admission criteria?

No, the Miami-Dade Housing Authority does not consider arrests.

2. Does the Housing Authority make individual determinations about an applicant's eligibility based upon the relevance of the criminal record?

Yes.

3. How long is the conviction bar(s)?

3 year bar for drug-related convictions; 5 year bar for violent convictions.


VOTING

1. Does the state grant people with criminal records the right to vote?

Individuals incarcerated following felony convictions are ineligible to vote unless civil rights have been restored by either a full pardon, completion of the sentence, or final release from parole. Fla. Const., Art. VI § 4 and Fla. Stat. Ann. § 940.05.

Copyright © 2004 by the Legal Action Center. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.lac.org/lac/main.php?view...&subaction1=FL
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Old 11-07-2004, 04:31 AM
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Thanks phil thats alot of really interesting stuff!!
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:23 PM
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This thread is very informative; my fiance is in prison & i have been out of prison for 10 1/2 years. I have yet 2 have my rights restored and i followed all the procedures in doing so, thank you mr. jeb bush
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:29 PM
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Thanks Phil!
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:20 PM
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Since April 2007, this information is incorrect - as least the information about the voting rights. Now most felons will get their civil rights back automatically after they have done their time and finished all probation.

But what about the driver's license stuff? I really need to get information about that. My guy's coming home in April (in three months) and I really really hope he'll be able to get his driver's license back.
Does anyone have info on that?
It would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:29 PM
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Hello, I am an ex-felon in Florida and if you are on parole/probation, such as I was...be aware that you you go to get your fingerprints at the police station it goes on your driver's license for the next 20 YEARS. BS, you say...yes I agree. When you are an ex-felon and even after doing well for 13+ yrs I still pay for it. Not that I get stopped for tickets, but police are known to check license plates and up pops that you are a felon. Have I gotten stopped? Not yet, but I think about it every time a police car is behind me. It makes you have the felon mentality (not to commit crimes) but I am always thinking about it. It sucks. Florida is THE worst state if you are an ex-felon. I am moving to WA state where it's more "re entry" friendly and they give you a chance much faster than here; ie: jobs, not on your license, etc....
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:29 PM
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Thanks fo this info...all the info we can get really helps, however I tried going into the site, to view public records and it said, this page cannot be displayed..hugh!
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:07 PM
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http://www.lac.org/roadblocks-to-reentry/

The above link is to the Legal Action Center and will allow you to click on a PDF version of the information Phil in Paris provided above. While Phil broke everything down to the state level, this PDF is user friendly and will allow you to find information for Florida easily on each topic. It also seems to be a little more up-to-date as some information may have changed since the original post.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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Link is bad in number 5 and this is good: dc.state.fl.us/inmateinfo/inmateinfomenu.asp

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