Convictions of any kind can destroy reputations and inflict life-altering consequences. This is especially true for individuals convicted of sex crimes. If sexual offenders/predator don’t understand and abide by the terms of their conviction, they could face more costly litigation and severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences. Our firm has successfully represented thousands of clients facing sex crime charges. This blog was inspired by some of the frequently asked questions and what it means to be a registered sex offender/predator.
Hiring a trial-tested criminal defense attorney with sex crime experience is essential. As a former prosecutor, my experience gives you a significant advantage when litigating these charges in court. Sex crimes in Florida carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and registration as a sex offender. Do not risk your future or your freedom; call our office today at 407-862-9222 for a free consultation. The sooner you hire our firm, the better we can build your defense and protect your rights. Ultimately our goal is to avoid a conviction and seek the best possible outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions: Registered Sex Offender/Predator
- What does it mean to be on the registry?
Answer: The sexual offender/predator registry was designed to provide the public access to individuals convicted of sexual crimes. Both Florida State and the US Department of Justice offer free online searches that provide public access to offenders’ photo, name, address(es), car, and tag information, along with details about the criminal case and conviction with a scannable barcode for anyone who wants to view/print an offender’s flyer. This information must be updated annually; failing to do so is a felony.
Since August 2007, Florida has issued special driver’s licenses to registered sex offenders featuring “offender” or “predator” designations that anyone looking at the registrant’ ID can see, from cashiers, restaurant servers, and bank officials to police officers, landlords, and future employers.
- Do all people convicted of a sex offense have to register?
Answer: Yes, and regardless of the severity of the offense. Convicted sexual offenders/predators must update their information with their local sheriff’s office 48 hours after a conviction or significant change. Registrants are required to update this information 2-4 times a year, depending on the severity of the offense.
Juvenile: Must register if he or she: (1) Has been convicted as an adult for a qualifying sexual offense and meets the criteria in F.S. 943.0435 or 775.21 to register as an adult sexual offender/predator; OR (2) Was adjudicated delinquent on or after July 1, 2007, for a qualifying sexual offense in this state or a similar offense in another jurisdiction when he or she was 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense (F.S. 943.0435). Juveniles are required to update information with the sheriff’s office four times a year.
- What do I need to register as a sex offender/predator?
Answer: Sexual offenders/predators must maintain registration for the duration of their life. Registrants are required to provide the following information (but not limited to) to their local sheriff’s office annually:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Height and weight
- Hair and eye color
- Tattoos or other identifying marks
- Palm prints
- Occupation and place of employment
- Residential address(es) including transient (i.e., homeless)
- Vehicle information
- All home & cellular telephone numbers
- All electronic mail addresses, Internet identifiers, corresponding website homepages, or application software names.
- Conviction information
- Passport information
- Immigration status/documentation
- Professional license information
- Can I get my name off the registry?
Answer: Currently, Florida law has no provisions that allow registrants to petition the court for removal. However, there are select cases where removal is possible if certain elements are met.
Qualifiers for petitioning the court to remove a registrant from the sexual registry:
- Petitioning the court for removal after 15 years for tier 1 offenders and 25 years for tier 2 offenders (multiple limitations may apply)
- Meeting the requirements for Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law
- Getting a full pardon
- Getting a post-conviction relief
- Moving to Florida with sex offender status from another state that was removed
To see if your case qualifies, call our office today.
- Can I vote if I’m a registered sex offender/predator?
Answer: As a registered sex offender/predator, you may be ineligible to vote based on your criminal conviction. Please seek legal guidance before attempting to vote or registering to vote, as this may lead to an arrest and prosecution for violating 104.011, 104.15 F.S.
- What restrictions do sex offenders have?
Answer: Restrictions vary between counties and municipalities, and it is the registrant’s responsibility to know these restrictions and abide by them. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Four of the most common restrictions are:
- LIVE: Offenders/predators convicted of crimes against children younger than 16 years are not allowed to establish residence within 1,000 feet radius of schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, and parks.
- WORK: Sex offenders/predators are not allowed to work where children are present, such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, and other play areas and facilities frequented by children.
- BEACHES: Some counties have created strict laws that ban sex offenders from beaches, libraries, and other places where children typically gather. Before you go to the beach, research what you can and cannot do.
- TRAVEL: Both in-state and out-of-state sexual offenders must report travel plans no later than 48 hours before leaving or entering Florida. Many countries deny entry to people with criminal histories, so please research where you are going and what you can and cannot do before making travel plans. If traveling internationally for five or more days, a comprehensive travel itinerary must be provided at least 21 days before departure, including but not limited to dates of departure and arrival, means of transport, and flight/cruise details.
- What happens if charged again?
Answer: Every case is different; however, if there is a prior conviction, defendants could face more serious charges, and more serious penalties up to and including jail time. For the best outcome in your case, the sooner you hire an experienced sex crime defense attorney, the better.
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Facing a sexual crime accusation or charge can be extremely overwhelming, and both have the potential for life-altering consequences. We are here to answer your questions and mitigate these impacts to your life. Our firm has represented thousands of clients facing sex crime charges. The knowledge I gained as a former prosecutor gives you a strong, insightful defense against the tactics used by the State to seek convictions.
Call our office today at 407-862-9222 and schedule a FREE consultation. We will answer your questions and discuss options for seeking a favorable outcome in your case. In some cases, we have successfully had these charges reduced or even dropped. Do not talk to the police or the victim/accuser.