Florida residents who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses can be required to regularly register with as sex offenders or sexual predators. These registration requirements are in place for the benefit of the public so communities best protect children.
However, the larger problem with mandatory sex offender registration in Florida is that all offenders and predators suffer the same consequences and carry the same stigma even when the nature of the alleged crimes can be dramatically different. For example, a person who was convicted of a minor offense such as consensual sex with an underage partner can be required to register for life, leading to numerous difficulties or restrictions in regards to employment, travel, or basic residence.
Have you been charged with a sex crime or are you being required to register as a sex offender or sexual predator in South Florida? It is in your best interest to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel who can make sure you comply with all of your legal obligations and possibly help reduce or eliminate unnecessary restrictions.
The Palm Beach County Sex Offender Registry attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fight for clients in Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Riviera Beach, and Jupiter as well as many surrounding areas. Our firm can review your case as soon as you call (561) 283-3259 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
A sex offender in Florida needs to register in person at his or her local sheriff's office at least twice a year. If there is any change in his or her permanent or temporary residence, this needs to be reported within 48 hours. He or she must also report in person to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to secure or renew a valid Florida driver license or identification card.
Failure to report, register, or otherwise comply with these requirements is a felony offense that can result in a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines. People who are subject to sex offender requirements include individuals who have been convicted of any one of the following crimes in Florida:
This requirement also applies to Florida residents who were convicted of a violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction (including federal, military, other state, or country) and he or she was released from or is currently serving parole, probation, or incarceration for a qualifying sex offense, he or she establishes or maintains a residence (permanent, temporary, or transient) in Florida and has a requirement to register or would have a requirement to register as a sexual offender in another jurisdiction, or he or she was adjudicated delinquent for one of the following offenses and was 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense:
A person may be classified as a sexual predator if he or she has been designated as such by a court order and was either convicted of a sexually violent offense as defined in The Florida Sexual Predators Act (Florida Statute § 775.21) or was civilly committed under the Florida Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act. Repeat sex offenders may also be classified as sexual predators.
The primary difference between these two designations is that a local sheriff's office or police department needs to notify the community about the presence of a sexual predator. However, this notification is optional for sex offenders.
Convicted sex offenders face several strict requirements. They must report to their local sheriff's office and provide an extensive amount of personal information, and registration forms need to be completed at least twice a year (during the month of the alleged offender’s birthday and every sixth month thereafter).
However, sexual predators and certain sex offenders are required to complete these registration forms four times a year (during the month of the alleged offender’s birthday and every third month thereafter). Sex offenders who are subject to quarterly registration include those who have been convicted of the following offenses:
Sex offenders and sexual predators must maintain registration for the duration of their life.
Generally, the only ways a sex offender will not be required to register for life is if he or she receives a full pardon or post-conviction relief for his or her qualifying offense. However, certain individuals may be able to petition the criminal division of the circuit courts where their convictions or adjudications occurred to have registration requirements removed.
Sex offenders only petition for a hearing is they have been lawfully released from sanctions, confinement, or supervision for at least 25 years and have not been arrested for any felony or misdemeanor offenses since their releases. Sexual predators are not allowed to petition Florida courts for removal of their designations, and courts must ensure that granting any petition does not conflict with requirements of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 or any other provisions of federal law.
If you are being required to register as a sex offender in South Florida or facing criminal charges that may result in mandatory sex offender registration, you could benefit tremendously from having skilled legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. assists people in Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, and Delray Beach.
Our West Palm Beach sex offender registry attorneys are dedicated advocates for their clients. Call (561) 283-3259 today to let us review your case during a free consultation.