Will My Sealed/Expunged Record Show Up in an NCIC/FCIC Record Check?
This usually comes up when facing these issues:
- Being detained when re-entering the United States
- A resident alien hoping to become a naturalized United States citizen fears a past criminal record will adversely affect their effort
- When seeking employment in the federal service
- A person living outside of the State of Florida wants to know if it will help them in their State
What Is the FCIC/NCIC?
Unless they have worked in law enforcement, are a criminal lawyers or prosecutor, or have been arrested before, these acronyms may be unfamiliar. FCIC stands for Florida Crime Information Center and the NCIC stands for the National Crime Information Center.
The FCIC is run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE]. There are corresponding agencies and CICs in each State and Territory. All arrest information in Florida is forwarded to FDLE to be entered into the FCIC database. FDLE maintains records of all arrests throughout the State of Florida. Each state does this for arrests in their state.
The NCIC does the same thing except the only new data that is entered uniquely are arrests by federal agencies. The bulk of the data in the NCIC database comes from states and territories. Each state and territory forwards their arrest data to the NCIC.
FCIC Arrest Data and Case Tracking/Updates
A record contained in the FCIC database begins with an arrest, either a physical arrest and jail booking or contact with law enforcement that results in a Notice to Appear. The FCIC database follows the arrest all the way through to the end of the case in court. This includes arrest data, prosecutorial charge decisions, and court disposition. The Clerk of Court updates FDLE with this information.
The information collected by the FCIC is transmitted to the NCIC. It is continuously updated throughout the criminal process and afterwards if additional data is included or redacted.
Effect of Sealed/Expunged Record on FCIC
FDLE removes a sealed or expunged record from public access under Florida law and it is removed from the petitioner’s criminal history. The information maintained by the FCIC is also updated with the NCIC. The NCIC database, which is only information obtained from FDLE, will remove data that has been redacted by FDLE from the FCIC database.
Effect of Sealed/Expunged Record on NCIC
Law enforcement agencies outside of Florida will not see the arrest of an expunged record in Florida. This may be true, as of October 1, 2019, even if the case was not expunged or sealed if the case resulted in a nolle prosequi or no information under specific conditions. See, section 943.0595, Florida Statutes.
NCIC and the National Name Check Program
The NCIC is the concern of most clients, however the National Name Check Program [NNCP] is also a concern. The NNCP is an information database between Federal agencies.
The mission of the National Name Check Program (NNCP) is to provide useful, accurate, and comprehensive information allowing our federal customer agencies to assess risk for the purpose of protecting the American people.
Many federal agencies seek background information from FBI files before bestowing a privilege. A privilege can be government employment or an appointment, a security clearance, attendance at a White House function, immigration benefits, naturalization, or a visa to visit the United States. The data accessed is not defined but one can assume that the data obtained from various State CIC is used and maintained for this purpose.
This can also be the reason that people who have had arrests expunged or sealed still run into issues when:
- Reentering the United States
- Attempting to obtain a visa or change in status
- Trying to obtain a job with the Federal Government
What this means is that an expungement or record sealing may have no effect or little effect on areas that concern National Security. What concerns National Security is defined by federal agencies and will not be affected by State statutes that grant relief by means of expunging or sealing a criminal record.
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