Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Florida legislature moves forward with proposal to expunge juvenile records

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 10:15 AM

click to enlarge ADOBE
  • Adobe

A proposal that would allow juveniles who have completed diversion programs to have nonjudicial arrest records expunged for any offense except a forcible felony is moving swiftly through the Senate.

Currently, minors who have gone through a diversion program only can be granted a records expungement for misdemeanor offenses. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure (SB 342) to expand the clearing of the records. The bill faces one more committee before heading to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a similar proposal passed by state lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session this spring. The revamped version of the bill, intended for consideration during the session that begins Jan. 11, includes a tweak aimed at garnering the governor’s support, according to bill sponsor Keith Perry, R-Gainesville.

“The caveat is we’ve added in that forcible felonies are not allowed in this, and that is the difference between this bill and last year’s bill,” Perry, chairman of the subcommittee, told the panel Wednesday.

Perry said he is confident that lawmakers will approve the measure and that DeSantis will support it because the revised bill addresses the governor’s objections.

“I have concerns that the unfettered ability to expunge serious felonies, including sexual battery, from a juvenile’s record may have negative impacts on public safety,” DeSantis wrote in a June veto message.

The committee on Wednesday also approved an accompanying measure (SB 344) that would provide a public-records exemption for juveniles whose records have been expunged. Similar bills (HB 195, HB 197) have been filed in the House.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation