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State Laws on Background Checks - Florida

Florida

F.S.A. §943.0438, §435.03 and §435.04

Florida law requires private, nongovernmental entities that organize, operate or coordinate youth athletic teams in Florida (“Independent Sanctioning Authorities”) to conduct annual Level 1 background screenings on any youth athletic team coach, assistant coach or referee who is authorized by an Independent Sanctioning Authority to work 20 or more hours a year whether for compensation or as a volunteer (“Athletic Coach”). The screening requires a search of the Athletic Coach’s name or other identifying information against: (A) state and federal registries of sexual predators and sexual offenders checks; (B) employment history checks; and (C) statewide criminal correspondence checks through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Additionally, the Level 1 screening disqualifies any person that has been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any offense that constitutes domestic violence or any of the offenses set forth at F.S.A. 435.04(2) or a similar law of another jurisdiction.

Any person identified in a registry or prohibited for certain offenses (as set forth in s.435.04 (2) (a) through (zz), or a similar law of another jurisdiction) must be disqualified unless they are exempt (exemptions may not be granted for sexual predators (s.775.21), career offenders (s.775.261), or sexual offenders, unless the sexual offender was removed (s.943.0435)). If they are disqualified, the Independent Sanctioning Authority must, within seven (7) business days following the background check, provide the disqualified person with notice of such disqualification. The Independent Sanctioning Authority must maintain the results and notification for at least five (5) years.

The Level 1 background screening required pursuant to F.S.A. §435.03 is available to the public on Internet sites provided by:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement sexual offenders and predator search:

https://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/offenderSearchNav.do?link=advanced

Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal history information:

https://web.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/default

A Level 1 screening in accordance with s.435.03 also requires a check of the United States Department of Justice Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, which may be found at:

http://www.nsopw.gov


DISQUALIFYING OFFENSES UNDER F.S.A. §435.04(2):

The security background investigations under this section must ensure that no persons subject to the provisions of this section have been arrested for and are awaiting final disposition of, have been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, or have been adjudicated delinquent and the record has not been sealed or expunged for, any offense prohibited under any of the provisions of Florida State Law as set forth in F.S.A. §435.04(2)(a) through (zz) or a similar law of another jurisdiction.

The Florida statute can be viewed online at:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0900-0999/0943/Sections/0943.0438.html

See also §435.03 and 435.04 for definition of Level 1 and Level 2 screenings:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0435/Sections/0435.03.html

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0435/Sections/0435.04.html