Certain convictions have long-reaching effects. Even after you’ve paid your debt to society and served your time, if you are charged with particular sexual offenses, you may be forced to register as a sex offender or sex predator for the rest of your life. This could make it more difficult to secure meaningful employment, get a degree, borrow money, buy a home, and more. Basically, it can make your life much, much harder.
In this article, we’re going to cover the sexual crimes that require life-long registry with the state of Florida. To start, though, it’s important to note that if you’re under investigation for a sex crime or are charged with a sex crime, it’s crucial that you get a Tampa defense lawyer.
As a former sex crimes prosecutor, Mike G Law has made it his mission to help his clients fight back against overzealous prosecutors. He’s committed to defending the rights of the accused and ensuring the best possible outcome for his clients.
What is the Sex Offender Registry?
A sex offender registry is a list maintained by the state that contains information about all convicted sex offenders residing in that state. Most registries include information regarding the crime the offender was convicted of, where they live, and what they look like.
Every state has a registry, and the US Department of Justice maintains a searchable database.
In Florida, those who are required to register must share the following information:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Eye color
- Tattoos or other identifying marks
- Palm prints
- Current photograph
- Occupation and place of employment
- Residential address
- Vehicle information
- All telephone numbers
- All email addresses, social media handles, and messaging account user name
- Conviction information
- Passport information
- Immigration status/documentation
- Professional license information
If a sexual offender moves, they must update their information and driver’s license within 48 hours to remain compliant.
When Was the Sex Offender Registry Created?
The sex offender registry is a result of numerous bills passed by Congress initially to protect children. In 1994, Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, which resulted in the creation of the first sex offender registry and also monitored crimes against children. This act required states to track offenders for ten years after their release, or for the remainder of their lives if they were convicted of a violent crime.
In 1996, the passage of Megan’s Law amended the Jacob Wetterling Act, making it a requirement that information from the sex offender registry be accessible to the public.
In 1997, the Pam Lychner Sex Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 created a national FBI database to track sex offenders who move across state lines.
These laws helped establish the sex offender registry as we know it. Additional statutes, such as the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 and the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Predators Act (KIDS Act) of 2008 have helped to create a system for reporting information to supposedly keep communities safer.
What Crimes Can Get You One the Sex Offender Registry?
If you are convicted of a crime of a sexual nature, you may be required to register as a sex offender or a sex predator for a particular time frame or indefinitely. Florida Statute 943.0435 states that those convicted of the following crimes must register with the state:
- Sexual battery (including spousal rape, date rape, and statutory rape)
- False imprisonment
- Lewd and lascivious offenses (public exposure, nudity, and other offenses)
- Child molestation
- Child prostitution
- Child pornography
- Unlawful sexual activity with minors
- Sexual performances by a child
- The selling or buying of minors
If you have been convicted of such a crime in another state or a similar crime in another state and choose to move to Florida, you will also need to register with the state.
To remain compliant, sex offenders must register twice yearly, while sexual predators and juvenile offenders must check in four times a year.
How Many People Are on the Sex Offender Registry?
Florida has almost 70,000 residents on the sex offender registry. Nationwide, there are almost 900,000 sexual offenders on the registry.
What is the Difference Between a Sexual Predator and a Sexual Offender?
The difference between a sexual predator and a sexual offender is the severity of the crime for which they’ve been convicted. Sexual predators are sex offenders who have also been convicted of a first-degree felony that is related to sexual misconduct or who has been convicted of two second-degree felonies related to sexual misconduct. Sexual predators have more stringent registry reporting requirements.
How to Get Off the Sex Offender Registry
Getting off the sex offender registry is a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. To learn more about how to get removed from the sex offender registry, visit our page on registration as a sex offender.
Protect Your Future
A conviction on a sex crimes charge can throw a wrench in your plans and threaten your future. Our society is committed to protecting victims of sexual crimes, which can lead to the railroading of those accused of such crimes. Public vilification via the media can lead to losing your jobs, the destruction of your relationships, and worse—and this is before a case even goes to trial.
To make sure your rights are secure, it’s crucial that you have a hardworking advocate on your side.
Mike G is a former sex crimes prosecutor who is now dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. He’s seen how the other side acts and knows their dirty tactics—and he’s ready to use that knowledge to ensure that you receive fair treatment in the eyes of the law. As an expert negotiator and trial lawyer with experience in both state court and federal court, Mike G has the type of experience you need on your side. Schedule a consultation now to safeguard your future.