Section 119 of the Florida Statutes provides that information maintained
by any public agency be released upon request by any person, either
private, or public, or to the media. There are, of course, certain
limitations. Information on cases under investigation will not be released
until the charges have been filed by the State Attorney’s Office and
discovery on the case has been released to defense counsel. If the case
is not filed on, or is later nolle prossed, the information will be available
at that time. Confessions and admissions made by the accused are not
permitted to be released until after the case is disposed of. Medical
records contained in case files may never be released.
In keeping with state records keeping guidelines, case files are routinely
destroyed after the passage of the prescribed periods of time.
Information on felony cases older than five years is destroyed and not
available, nor is case information on misdemeanors available if more
than two years old. First degree murder cases are never destroyed.