The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Division of Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), keeps the state’s criminal records. You can search for records on the Website for $24 per record plus a credit card processing fee of $1.
What Are Criminal Records?
Criminal records hold your criminal history. They include misdemeanor and felony convictions for localities, states, and federal crimes. Criminal records also may include identification information about you, such as your fingerprints, address, date of birth, and aliases. Examples of what criminal records include are:
- Past arrest information
- Disposition (such as whether you were convicted or acquitted, or whether charges were dismissed or pending)
- Type of crime
How Are Criminal Records Used?
Organizations examine criminal records, generally as part of a general background check, for several purposes. Some employers examine criminal records to help them determine whether to hire, promote, or contract with an individual. Volunteer organizations may also search criminal records to determine whether you can volunteer or in which roles. Criminal background checks are particularly prevalent if you’ll be volunteering with children or the elderly or handling large sums of money. Other organizations that may check your criminal history include:
- School and college admissions officers
- Those requiring that you have a security clearance
- Voter registration officials
- Military organizations
- Adoption agencies
- Law enforcement agencies
- US Citizen and Immigration Services
How Can Someone Access Your Records?
Law enforcement and other government agencies can access criminal records for free in Florida.
In Florida, most criminal records are considered public records. Anyone who pays the search fee can view a record of offenses, fingerprints, and the cases’ disposition. In some cases, such as for crimes committed while someone was a juvenile, records have been sealed or expunged (erased). The public cannot access expunged, or sealed records are not accessible to the public. FDLE only stores and makes available records for offenses committed in Florida.
FDLE also stores information about sex offenders by name and neighborhood. Individuals must register for the list and appear on the sex registry list if they live in Florida and have committed certain sex-related offenses in Florida or other jurisdictions. In some cases, such as those in which an offending adult had consensual sex with a minor close to their age, the offender can petition the court to keep their name off the registry. The public can access this information online without having to pay a fee.
How Can You Request A Criminal Record?
If you’d like to request your own criminal record or someone else’s in Florida, you can do so through the FDLE Website. You can request instant results, which are not certified, or certified results that are mailed within seven days of the request. You’ll need a credit or debit card. The state no longer accepts requests by mail.