An unfair irony in Florida Expungement law

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1st Jul 2015

Normally, the remedy of expunction, where a record of an arrest is erased, is applicable to first time arrestee that receives a favorable disposition on their cases. This means that if a person had their case dismissed or dropped, there is an eligibility to expunge. However, if an accused beats the case in trial, Florida Department of Law Enforcement preludes expunction and only allows for the lesser remedy of sealing.

The foreseeable explanation is that an acquittal means the prosecution couldn’t fulfill their burden of proof, a bit distinguishable from when a prosecutor abandons the case.

A flaw in such a procedure is that some prosecutors or jurisdictions are fairer than others. If one prosecutor determines that a case warrants dismissal yet a more unreasonable prosecutor, on the same facts, forces a trial, even though there was a court room victory there is, nevertheless, a worse consequence since there is an ineligibility to expunge.

Such a law needs to change.