Florida Statute Section 943.0585 clearly states “that it “does not confer any right to the expunction of any criminal history record, and any request for expunction of a criminal history record may be denied at the sole discretion of the court.” VDF v. State, 19 So. 3d 1172, 1174 – 75 (Fla. 2009) (citing Wells v. State, 807 So. 2d 206, 207 n.2 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002). If “a petitioner has satisfied all of the statutory requirements, section 943.0585 gives the trial court the discretion to deny expunction . . . ‘if there is a good reason for denial based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.'” VDF,19 So. 3d at 1175.
In VDF, a Jacksonville criminal defendant petitioned to have his record expunged. The trial court denied his petition and sealed the record instead. The trial judge “determined ‘based on the totality’ of what had been presented at the hearing that the records would be sealed, but not expunged, so that it could be determined at some later time whether it would be appropriate for law enforcement to have access to the records.” The Jacksonville criminal defendant appealed. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision ruling that “denial of VFD’s petition on grounds that the re-cords, if not expunged, might–for reasons applicable in any case–prove useful in the future falls short of the exercise of discretion that the statute requires.”
See Jacksonville Lawyer Gets Court Order Expunging Sexual Battery Record.