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. There are no filing fees associated with these petitions.
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.
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.
Updated Sept 2021