If you are being charged with a sexual crime, it’s crucial that you seek a skilled Tampa sex crimes lawyer to help protect your rights. A sex crime conviction can lead to prison time and will require lifelong registration on the sex offender registry.
What is the sex offender registry?
Designed as a way to protect the community from individuals who have committed particular offenses, the sex offender registry is a listing of convicted felons whose crimes were sexual in nature. This list is available online and is updated regularly. Each state has its own registry. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement maintains our state’s registry.
Who must register as a sex offender?
Florida Statute 943.0435 details who must register as a sex offender or sexual predator. Essentially, it states that if an individual has been convicted of one of the following crimes in Florida or in another state, then they must register as a sex offender:
- 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
What is a sexual predator?
A sexual predator is an individual who has been convicted of a sex offense that was violent in nature, someone who has been committed under the Florida Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act, or someone deemed by a court order as a sexual predator.
What information do you have to provide when registering as a sex offender?
The state of Florida requires that individuals who must register as sex offenders provide the following information upon their release from prison:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Height and weight
- Hair and eye color
- Tattoos or other identifying marks
- Fingerprints and palm prints
- 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
Sex offenders must provide this info to their local sheriff.
If you move, get a new email or phone number, or otherwise change any of the info above, you must notify your probation officer, if you have one. If you don’t have one, you may use the state’s Cyber Communications System to register changes.
How often do you have to register as a sex offender?
To maintain accurate records, those who are required to register as sex offenders must do so regularly, depending on the offense they were convicted of. Sexual offenders must register twice yearly or four times a year. Sexual predators and juvenile sex offenders must report four times yearly.
In addition, if an offender or predator moves, they must update their driver’s license within 48 hours of the move.
What happens if I don’t register as a sex offender?
If you have been required by law to register as a sex offender and fail to do so, you can be charged with a felony. While registration can make it difficult to find housing and a job, it is generally better than imprisonment.
How long must I register as a sex offender?
If you have been convicted of a crime that requires that you register as a sex offender, you must continue to register for the rest of your life unless you are eligible to have your name removed from the registry.
How can I get my name removed from the sex offender registry?
Individuals who have committed a crime that requires sex offender registry must register for life.
However, if an individual has been off of probation (supervision) for 25 years and has not committed any additional offenses, they can petition to have their name removed from the registry if they were not convicted of one of the following crimes:
- false imprisonment
- sexual battery (rape)
- lewd/lascivious battery where the victim is under the age of 12
- lewd/lascivious molestation where the victim is under the age of 12
- lewd/lascivious molestation where the court finds the offense involved the use of force or coercion and unclothed genitals or genital area
- lewd/lascivious battery on an elderly or disabled person
If eligible, a sexual offender can petition the criminal division of the circuit court where they were convicted (if the conviction occurred in Florida) or where they live (if the conviction occurred elsewhere). For more information, consult with a skilled Tampa sex crimes lawyer.
What restrictions must someone on the sex offender registry abide by?
All individuals who must register as sex offenders or predators must do so regularly. Individuals who were convicted of a crime against a minor under 16 may not live within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground, or daycare facility. These are statewide requirements. Otherwise, sex offenders are not restricted in terms of who they live with or where they live. Counties and municipalities may enact their own restrictions, however. If you are required to register as a sex offender, you can find the restrictions for your area at your local sheriff’s office or on their website.
Charged with a Sex Offense? Seek Representation Now!
If you’ve been charged with a crime that was sexual nature, it’s crucial that you seek the advice of a skilled defense attorney. If you are convicted, you may be forced to register as a sexual offender or predator. This can jeopardize your future, limiting your job and housing prospects and even alienating your family. Make sure you have someone in your corner that is ready to fight for your rights—contact Mike G Law today.
As a former sex-crimes prosecutor, Mike G understands how the judicial system goes after those believed to have committed sexual crimes. Often, these individuals are tarred and feathered before they ever set foot into a courtroom. Don’t let your name be dragged through the mud—make sure you have a skilled Tampa sex crimes attorney to help you protect your future.