What defines a Criminal Record in Florida?
A criminal record is an official document that records a person’s criminal history. The information assembles updated local, county and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. The standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county. The majority of Florida criminal records are online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report. These reports recognize a number of courts, police departments and the official Florida Records Online Database. The amount of criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person as well as what resources used to collect the information. Different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes. Criminal records in Florida generally include the following subjects.
Florida Arrest Records
An arrest record is an official document providing information about a person that is apprehended, taken into custody, placed in detention, held for investigation and/or charged with, indicted or tried for any felony, misdemeanor or other offense by any law enforcement or military authority. A person is arrested when law enforcement officers take the offender into custody or otherwise deprive the offender of his freedom of movement in any significant way,http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0901/0901.html
. Police officers, under Florida law, are obligated to find themselves and to tell you that you are under arrest and why, unless circumstances make it impossible for them to do so at that time.
Florida Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant is an official document that is issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions, which authorizes a police officer to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warrant or to search and seize the individual’s property. In Florida, the police can arrest a person for committing a crime without an arrest warrant, http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0901/0901.html
. This might happen only the cases when the person commits the crime in an officer’s presence.
A misdemeanor is a non-indictable offense and is generally less severe than felonies; however, like felonies, a misdemeanor charge is a classified number-based system designed to describe the severity of the alleged crime. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, punishable by up to one year in county jail and classified as misdemeanors of the first or second degree, http://floridasentencing.blogspot.md/2010/07/misdemeanors-felonies-and-common-law.html
. First degree misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors in Florida, punishable by jail terms of up to one year and fines of up to $1,000. Theft of property valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, is an example of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
A felony offense is a criminal conviction with a maximum sentence of more than 1 year, which is served in a county jail or state prison. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. Felonies in Florida are punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison and classified as capital or life felonies; or felonies of the first, second, or third degree.
Florida Sex Offender Listing
A sex offender listing is a registry of persons convicted of committing a sex crime that is often accessible by the public. In most cases, jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault and sexual. Judges are given discretion as to whether they need registration for crimes besides the charges listed under the sex offender registration law, http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/FloridaLaws.jsp
. A judge may order an adult to register as a sex offender if the crime convicted involves sexual motivation.
Florida Serious Traffic Violation
A serious traffic violation tends to involve willful disregard for public safety, death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and multiple minor traffic violations. In Florida, your traffic ticket fine may vary depending on which county you received your citation. In addition to the fine and having points added to your driving record, you may also need to pay surcharges. The amount of time served will depend on the severity of your violation and the type of traffic ticket you received.
Florida Conviction Records
A conviction record is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded no contest against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. These criminal charges may be classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offense. Conviction includes a person judged as a delinquent, or has been less than honorably discharged or placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.
Florida Jail and Inmate Records
Jail and inmate records are official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes past inmate status. A person who is in jail or considered an inmate is someone who has been deprived of their civil liberties and is on trial for a crime or is serving, which maintains an inmate database that is often searchable online a prison sentence after being convicted of a crime. Most states have a Department of Corrections, http://www.dc.state.fl.us/
. These records often include the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected the release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos.
Florida Parole Information
Parole is information about the provisional release of a prisoner who agrees to certain conditions before completion of the maximum sentence period. Parole is be offered to any prisoner, except in cases of treason and in cases when impeachment results in the conviction, the Governor may, by executive order filed with the Secretary of State, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding 60 days, http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0900-0999/0947/Sections/0947.16.html
. The governor may, with the approval of two members of the Cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses. In cases of treason, the Governor may grant reprieves until adjournment of the regular session of the Legislature convening next after the conviction, at which session the Legislature may grant a pardon or further reprieve; otherwise, the sentence shall be executed.
Florida Probation Records
Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crimine in Florida to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0948/Sections/0948.06.html
. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case. Probation typically falls into three categories: minimally supervised, supervised and intensive – an intensive is a form of very strict probation that has conditions that vary from state to state but that emphasize punishment and control of the offender within the community.
Florida Juvenile Criminal Records
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found “adjudicated delinquent”. These criminal records are often mistakenly erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.
Florida History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the record keeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record assembles and later digitized. Florida criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data starts to centralize and compile into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of record keeping improved exponentially due to the computer's arrival, so the information provided on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person.
Florida Megan’s Law
Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and keep up a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government requires all states to set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered. Sexual predators (a higher level of offense) convicted for committing, or attempting to commit, any of the qualifying crimes specified in Florida Statute, and whose date of offense committed on or after October 1, 1993, and where the court has issued an order designation the subject a sexual predator. Sexual offenders convicted for committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the qualifying crimes specified in Florida Statute and released on or after October 1, 1997. Juvenile offenders convicted as adults. Persons required registering in another state or jurisdiction as an offender or predator, http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/FloridaLaws.jsp
. Juveniles adjudicated delinquent on or after July 1, 2007, for committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the qualifying crimes specified in Florida Statute when the juvenile was 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense