How to Get Off the Florida Sex Offender Registry

how to get off sex offender registry, How to Get Off the Florida Sex Offender Registry

Being forced to register as a sex offender can make almost everything in your life more difficult. Sex offenders’ registration can impact where you can live, who will rent or sell to you, whether you can get a loan, and your chances of securing a job. The restrictions placed on those who have to obtain a sex offender registry by law vary from county to county and municipality and essentially enhance the term of punishment handed down after a conviction of a sexual crime. A mistake can lead from ten years to a life-long punishment depending on certain sex crimes committed that may not be necessarily in line with the initial act. So, can you get off the sex offender list? In short, yes you can. Here’s what you need to know about getting off the list of registered offenders.

What Is the Sex Offender Registration?

The Florida Sex Offender Registry is easily searchable information presented to the public that provides information about individuals who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses. Florida Sex Offender Registry contains public records on registered sex offenders classified as predators and sexual offenders.

In accordance with Florida Statute 943.0435, individuals who have been convicted of one of the following felonies—whether in Florida or in another state—must register as a sex offender within 48 hours of completing their sentence or moving into the state. Sex offender registration follows by the violent crimes or less severe crimes committed, such as:

  • Child molestation
  • Child prostitution
  • Child pornography displayed and shared by an electronic device
  • Online solicitation of a minor displayed on site
  • False imprisonment of a victim
  • Kidnapping
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Lewd and lascivious offenses (indecent exposure, nudity, and other offenses)
  • Sexual battery (this includes spousal rape, date rape, statutory rape, and violent sexual crimes)
  • Sexual performances by a child
  • The selling or buying of minors
  • Unlawful sexual activity with minors

After the offense report is filed in person or on site, the sex offenders convicted of a sex crime must provide up-to-date information regularly. If a person convicted of a crime gets a new car or moves to certain areas, this person has to report it to law enforcement as soon as possible. The information in the sex offender registry includes:

  • Name (including aliases)
  • Age
  • Social security number
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Height and weight
  • Hair and eye color
  • Tattoos or other identifying marks
  • Fingerprints and palm prints
  • Photograph
  • Occupation and place of employment
  • Residential address
  • Vehicle information (Make, model, license plate number)
  • All telephone numbers
  • All email addresses, social media handles, and messaging account username
  • Original conviction information and probable cause affidavit
  • Passport information
  • Immigration status/documentation
  • Professional license information

This is a searchable database, intended to grant access to anyone from the public to go in and get the information provided about you. They can even set up notifications to be alerted if you move. It can feel like an invasion of privacy and a threat to your security. If you or a person provided false information in his or her documents, make sure to seek formal legal advice from a trusted criminal defense law firm.

The sex offenders’ database has made returning to “normal life” practically impossible for individuals who have served their time following a sex crime conviction. This database has a current criminal history check and the available access to anyone searching your name. Fewer work opportunities, limited housing, and over vigilant neighbors have even created a situation in Miami-Dade County where dozens of convicted sex offenders are homeless and living under a bridge.

How Long Do I Have to Register?

Registering as a sex offender or a sexually violent predator is a life-long commitment that is part of the sentence for most crimes—even if the conviction occurred when the defendant was a juvenile.

If you’ve broken the law and have been convicted of one of the crimes listed above or re-offended, then you have 48 hours from your release to register as a sex offender. You will be expected to check in and update your registry either 4 times a year or twice a year (depending on the seriousness of your conviction). Plus, if you make any changes, like moving, you will have 48 hours to update that information on your driver’s license and on the registry.

Failing to register within the time limit can lead to felony charges and imprisonment.

How to Get Off the Sex Offender Registry in Florida

Not everyone can apply to get off the sex offender registry. Because the sex offender registry is for life, only those who have been on the registry for 25 years and who have not been convicted of additional offenses may apply to have their names removed.

In addition, individuals who were initially convicted of the following offenses cannot be removed from the registry. Here is a brief description of the law offenses that can prevent you from getting off the sex offender registry.

  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Lewd and lascivious battery where the victim is under the age of 12
  • Lewd and lascivious molestation where the victim is under the age of 12
  • Lewd and lascivious battery on an elderly or disabled person
  • Sexual battery (rape)

Eligible individuals will need to petition the criminal division of the circuit court where they were initially convicted and classified as sexual predators. Individuals whose initial conviction occurred out of state will need to petition the criminal division of the circuit court in their new jurisdiction. In addition, convicted sex offenders may need to complete a sex offender treatment program and submit a list of supporting documents. Because there is no clear process for doing this, having a Tampa criminal defense attorney help you is key.

Alternatively, if there is new evidence in your case, you may be able to have your conviction appealed. For example, if you were convicted in a case with lascivious offenses committed, and a minor later changed his or her story, you may be able to appeal your conviction in light of the new evidence. For individuals who were charged with offenses that are not allowed to petition for removal from the sex offender registry, this may be the only way to get yourself removed from the registry.

Certain criteria apply when pardoned or if your conviction is overturned in some other manner, which can also help your petition to be removed from the registry.

Once your petition is approved, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will scrub your name from the registry, allowing you to return to near anonymity.

Want Off the Sex Offenders List? Get Help!

Florida law has some of the nation’s strictest public safety and sex crimes laws. While movements to amend those laws are gaining steam, it’s important that you continue to register as a Florida sex offender to avoid additional criminal charges. While activists work to change or abolish current sex registry laws, you can still apply to be removed from the list as long as you meet the above requirements. Don’t just stop registering! Make sure you follow the current rules so that you aren’t further penalized. You should contact an attorney for a free consultation about the deregistration process and posting material harmful on public media that would slow down the deregistration process.

Want to get your name off the sexual predators’ list? To improve your chances of getting removed from the sex offender or sexual predator registry, get a knowledgeable Tampa criminal defense attorney on your side.

Alternatively, if you’ve only recently been charged as a sexual offender with a sex offense and have received a court order to appear, or believe you are being investigated based solely on a sex charge, seek a free initial consultation from a Tampa sex crimes lawyer immediately to protect your rights and your future.

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