Florida Sex Offender Laws: What You Need to Know

Florida Sex Offender Laws: What You Need to Know

  • March 2nd, 2022
  • Bruce Denson
  • Comments Off on Florida Sex Offender Laws: What You Need to Know

Florida sex offender laws detail severe penalties for individuals who are convicted. In fact, the sex offender laws in Florida are some of the strictest statutes in the country.

In the State of Florida, sex offender information is made public, which imposes challenges with work, where you live, where you can go, and more. Florida sex offender laws can be complex, and having as much information as possible is critical to your future.

Additionally, due to the severity of the consequences of being placed on the Sexual Offender Registry, it is strongly advised to consult with a criminal defense attorney if you have a pending case.

Who Is Considered a Sex Offender In Florida?

As a general rule, an individual who is convicted (not just charged) of a sex crime act where federal or state laws would require his/her name to be placed on the Sexual Offender Registry is considered a sex offender. The laws in Florida cover a broad range of crimes. If you are charged and convicted, you would have to register as a sex offender. Additionally, if you have been convicted of certain sex crimes in another state and then move to Florida, the state will recognize that conviction under the law, and you will be considered a sex offender.

Here are some of the crimes, upon conviction, which would define you as a sex offender:

  • Luring or Enticing a Child
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • False Imprisonment of a Minor
  • Kidnapping of a Minor
  • Human Trafficking
  • Child Pornography
  • Video Voyeurism of a Minor
  • Lewd or Lascivious Offense with a Minor
  • Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors

If you have been charged with any of the crimes listed above, contact The Denson Firm for a free, confidential consultation.

Sexual Offender vs. Sexual Predator: What’s the Difference?

Florida sex offender laws define the two based on the level and number of the crime(s). Sexual predators are considered even more serious and have stricter registration requirements. For someone to be classified as a sexual predator, he/she has been convicted of at least one first-degree felony sexual misconduct charge or two second-degree sexual misconduct charges.

Florida Sex Offender Registration: Do I Have to Register?

The Sexual Offender Registry is in place to keep track of the location of individuals who have a history of molesting or abusing children. They must register with local authorities and keep the police aware of their presence in counties across the state. If the individual is traveling to another state, not of their residence, they are required to let local law enforcement know.

Each year, updated information must be provided to local authorities including:

  • Occupation
  • Place of Employment
  • Vehicle Information
  • Residential Information
  • All Phone Numbers
  • All Email Addresses

Additionally, authorities must be notified if the individual plans to travel or move out of the state. Complete registration requirements are listed in Florida Statute 943.0435.

Who Has to Register?

Sex offender laws in Florida require that anyone who has been named a sexual offender by the criminal justice system due to a conviction of a certain sex crime(s).

How Long Do I Have to Register?

Once an individual pleads to a particular sex offense that mandates a registration, that person has to keep registering for the rest of their life.

What Happens If I Fail to Register?

If someone fails to register after being mandated to register by law, it is considered a third-degree felony. The punishment will be determined by how many times they have failed to register.

1st offense – 6 months with electronic monitoring (mandatory minimum)

2nd offense – 1 year with electronic monitoring (mandatory minimum)

3rd or subsequent offenses – 2 years with electronic monitoring (mandatory minimum)

Can I Be Removed from the Florida Sex Offender Registry?

Under Florida sex offender laws, it is difficult to be removed from the list – but not impossible. A few potential options and a limited number of offenses qualify for removal from the Florida Sex Offender Registry.

Potential Options include:

  • A Full Pardon from the State of Florida
  • The Individual Moved to Florida from another state with a sex offender designation, and that designation has been removed
  • Post-Conviction Relief – where a request is made to the state that a conviction or a sentence be corrected or vacated
  • “Romeo and Juliet” Law – where an individual meets the requirements that apply to certain sex offenses that involved people who were no more than four years older when he/she engaged in a sexual relationship that was consensual – with another individual 13 to 17 years old
  • After 25 years on the Florida Sex Offender Registry, an individual may request to be removed – while still having strict restrictions

Offenses that can qualify:

  • A lewd or lascivious exhibition using a computer online
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons under 16 years of age

How A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case

If you face criminal charges or want to be removed from the Florida Sex Offender Registry, a criminal defense attorney can help. With the complexity of the criminal justice system in Florida and the severity of the penalties associated with a conviction for particular sex offenses, having a legal expert to advocate on your behalf is critically important.

Bruce Denson is a highly experienced St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney with more than twenty years of experience. He provides high-quality, aggressive defenses and will thoroughly examine the details of your case to develop the correct strategy.

Contact The Denson Firm today for a free, confidential consultation.