Statute

FSA § 943.0583

Survivors of trafficking may petition to vacate convictions, arrests, non-prosecuted cases, adjudications, and/or other records for any offense except for specific violent felonies. The petition must show that the charges occurred while the person was a victim and as part of the human trafficking scheme.

Survivors are not required to attend a hearing and the court may grant relief despite objections from the prosecutor. Additionally, survivors may use official documentation to create the presumption that their participation in the offense was a result of having been a victim of human trafficking. Without the support of documentation, the applicant must demonstrate clear and convincing evidence that they were a victim of trafficking.  There are no time restrictions for the petition, as long as it is filed after the trafficking has ceased or after they have sought services for trafficking victims, and the judge may take into consideration safety concerns as a delay to seeking this relief. The survivor must have no pending motions or petitions to expunge or seal other offenses in Florida or other states.

Florida law specifies that convictions vacated for survivors are due to a substantive defect in the underlying proceeding. This is important for reasons discussed in the Polaris State Report Cards.

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.