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What is a Criminal Record?
Florida criminal records are official documents pertaining to the criminal activity of persons within the jurisdiction of the state of Florida. These records typically include details of all misdemeanor and felony offenses of the subject along with arrest data. Indictment history and their conviction information. These details are assembled from a variety of county and state-run offices and repositories as well as law enforcement agencies, court, and correctional institutions.
What is Contained in a Criminal Record?
Florida criminal records generally comprise the following:
- The personal data of the subject - i.e. their full name and alias, gender birth date, nationality/ethnicity
- A mugshot and a full set of fingerprints
- Details of unique physical attributes
- Misdemeanor and felony offenses
- Arrest history, indictments, convictions, and pending dispositions
Florida Arrest Records
Florida arrest records are officially recorded documents that feature information regarding a person or persons following their alleged involvement in criminal activity. These records often include details of the suspected crimes as well as the relevant information regarding the data and may include any applicable indictment information. As per Florida’s Miranda Rights, law enforcement agencies are obligated to inform an arrestee that they are being arrested, share the reason for the arrest, notify the arrestee of their right to an attorney, and several other important pieces of information pertinent to the arrestee's rights. However, arrests and arrest records are not considered sufficient proof of criminal activity but only indicate that the subject was detained and questioned regarding a crime. Florida arrest records typically include:
- Details of the alleged criminal offense
- The name of the arresting agency, officer and holding facility
- The personal information of the arrestee - i.e. full name, birth date, gender e.t.c.
- The place and date of the arrest
- The most current case status
What are Arrest Warrants?
Arrest warrants in the state of Florida are court-issued orders authorizing the arrest and detention/interrogation of persons within the jurisdiction of the state. They are typically requested by the District attorney's office for state law enforcement agencies, and they are issued by judges or magistrates. Arrest warrants may also authorize the search and/or confiscation of the property of the arrestee. As per Florida state law, arrests can be made without a warrant when a law enforcement officer is a witness to the crime or there is probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed, a restraining order is violated or the arrestee is likely to re-offend.
What is a Misdemeanor?
Florida misdemeanor crimes are offenses of mid-severity (after infractions) which are usually punishable by short prison terms to be served in county jail and considered to be less serious than felonies. In the state of Florida, misdemeanor charges are often designed to match the severity of the alleged crime and a misdemeanor may be either first or second degree. While first degree misdemeanors are the most serious of the two and are typically punishable by up to one year in jail, and fines of up to $1,000, second-degree misdemeanors are usually punishable by no more than 60 days in jail and fines of $500 or less. Some examples of Florida misdemeanor crimes include:
- First Degree Misdemeanors
- Theft of property valued at at least $100 but under $750
- Indecent exposure
- Second Degree Misdemeanors
- Driving on a suspended license
- Simple assault
- First-offense petty theft
- Some forms of prostitution.
What is a Felony?
A felony crime in Florida is the most serious criminal offense of the state which is typically punishable by extended jail sentences and by death in some cases. Mostly, the penalty for a felony offense is left to the discretion of the presiding judge and may be influenced by the criminal history of the offender and the nature of the crime. Generally, sentences are typically meant to match the severity of the crime. Florida’s most serious felonies are capital and life felonies which are usually punishable by life in prison, or by the death penalty. The penalty for other felonies from first through third-degree offenses range from 30-year to 5-year jail terms. Some examples of Florida felony crimes include the following:
- Capital and life felonies: first-degree murder
- First degree felonies: Aggravated battery of a law enforcement agent
- Second-degree felonies: Selling marijuana to a minor
- Third-degree felonies: theft of an automobile, trespassing (while armed)
Florida Sex Offender Listing
Florida sex offender listings refer to the various public access databases which feature information regarding convicted sex offenders in the state. These are primarily managed by various county and city jurisdictions and typically list the full name, addresses, conviction information and unique identifiers of persons convicted of committing crimes motivated by sexual interests. In addition to local listings, the state of Florida operates a statewide sex offender registry which is managed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and lists all registered sex offenders regardless of jurisdiction. Whether or not a person is obligated to register on this list is at the discretion of the presiding judge during their trial. A judge may require an offender to be registered if the crime was sexually motivated, even if the crime itself was not a sex crime.
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. Following the passage of Megan's Law, the state of Florida mandate the registration for any offender convicted of the following:
- Sexual predators (a higher level of offense) convicted for committing or attempting to commit, any of the qualifying crimes specified in Florida Statute, on or after October 1, 1993
- 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.
- Persons required registering in another state or jurisdiction as an offender or predator
- 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
What is a Serious Traffic Violation?
Serious traffic violations in the state of Florida are traffic-related offenses which often include willful disregard for public safety and result in property damage, serious injuries or death. Like most U.S. states, Florida operates a traffic point system in which road users are penalized for infractions based on the severity of the offense and the frequency of the occurrences. A per Florida road traffic laws, traffic ticket fines are issued for most offenses but may vary depending on which county the offending driver received a citation. In addition to the fine, and accumulating points on the offender’s driving record, other fines and penalties may apply depending on the severity of the crime. For major infractions, time may also be served and this will also vary depending on the nature of the crime committed.
What are Conviction Records?
Florida conviction records are documents that provide information regarding the persons who have been found guilty following a court hearing and/or criminal charges in a civil, criminal, or military court. These documents typically detail the crime for which the individual has been convicted as well as the personal data of said person. Details contained in these record include the full name, gender and date of birth of the subject as well as the sentence they received, the nature of their crime, and other pertinent information involved in the prosecution. Convictions are usually rendered by a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. However, conviction records exclude any pardons, reversals or convictions which have been overturned.
What are Jail and Inmate Records?
Florida jail and inmate records are official documents containing prisoner-related information as well as information regarding correctional institutions in the state’s jurisdiction. Like most states, the Florida Department of Corrections maintains an inmate database that is searchable online. These records often include the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos. The database also lists the inmate’s full name or alias, birthdate, nationality, and gender and may be obtained online or by querying the facility where the prisoner is housed. The database also lists correctional facilities within the state’s jurisdiction as well as their locations, contact information and housing capacity.
Florida Parole Information
Parole information includes details on the provisional release of a prisoner who agrees to certain restrictions in exchange for freedom from prison or jail. Parole is often offered to any prisoner, except in extreme cases such as treason, an impeachment that results in imprisonment, and severe criminal activity. The governor of Florida may issue an executive order to suspend the collection of fines and forfeitures and grant reprieves of up to 60 days.
With the approval of two members of their cabinet, the governor may grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, or remit fines and forfeitures for offenses. In cases of treason, the governor may grant reprieves that last from the adjournment of a regular session of the legislature until the next session. At this session, the legislature may grant the pardon or reprieve, or deny it.
What are Probation Records?
Florida probation records are official documents indicating that a convict has been offered probation as an alternative to prison. Probation sentences allow persons convicted of a crime in Florida to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow the rules specified at the beginning of their probation by the presiding judge. Probations are typically issued in proportion to the crime, which means that the length and nature of the probation differ depending on the offense of the convict and/or their criminal histories. Probation sentences may be minimally supervised or intensive. Intensive probation is a form of very strict probation with conditions that emphasize punishment and control of the offender within the community.
What are Florida Juvenile Criminal Records?
Florida state juvenile criminal records are official documents that contain criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found to be “adjudicated delinquent.” These criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be 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
Prior to the recent technological developments in record management, all record maintenance processes were primarily undertaken manually. Given the method’s propensity for error, the accuracy of the data of criminal records depends largely on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Other than eliminating human error, the newly adopted methods of record storage allows for easier access to the records as criminal and arrest data have been centralized and compiled into an organized database. That said, varying management processes are adopted by different jurisdictions depending on their unique needs. As a result, the information provided on StateRecords.org may vary between individuals.
How to Find Criminal Records
In the state of Florida, criminal records are generated and disseminated by various law enforcement agencies for their respective jurisdictions. However, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement serves as the state’s central repository for criminal history information. The FDLE operates Florida’s Division of Criminal Justice Information Services which makes criminal history information available in the form of Criminal Background Reports. These may be accessed online or from local law enforcement sources.
While all records contain the most principal subjects required for evaluating the subject's criminal history, there are various non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes adopted by various criminal record sources. Thus, the criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org varies with the subject.