Florida law allows for the expungement of criminal records in certain circumstances. An expungement can provide a defendant with a better chance to start over following a criminal conviction, but they are only granted in certain circumstances, regardless of how sympathetic the defendant’s case is.
For example, in a recent case, a Florida court of appeals held that the law did not allow for a victim of human trafficking to expunge kidnapping charges from her record, despite the fact that she was forced to commit crimes while she was subject to someone else’s control. If you are a resident of Tampa with prior convictions, you should confer with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney to discuss your options going forward.
Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Background
It is reported that the defendant was controlled by a human trafficker for many years. During the time she was controlled by the human trafficker, she was arrested three times for crimes committed as part of the human trafficking scheme. Following an arrest in 2010, she was charged with multiple crimes, including kidnapping. She entered into a plea agreement in which she agreed to assist to cooperate with the State and testify against the human trafficker. As part of the negotiated plea, the state nolle prossed the kidnapping crime. The defendant plead guilty to sex trafficking and other crimes, for which she was sentenced. After her sentence was complete, she petitioned the court to expunge all of her criminal history records pursuant to the Human Trafficking Expunction Statue. Following a hearing, the court granted her petition with the exception of the records related to her kidnapping charge. The defendant subsequently appealed.