Charged With A Sex Crime In Florida? Contact The Watson Firm, PLLC - Trusted Criminal Defense Attorneys!
Don't let a sex crime charge jeopardize your future. Seek the knowledge of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Watson Firm, PLLC to fight for your rights, your freedom, and the ability to avoid being classified as a sex crime offender. With in-depth knowledge of Florida's legal landscape, our sex crime attorneys will build a robust defense tailored to your misdemeanor or felony case. Schedule a confidential consultation now by calling (850) 607-2929 or connecting with our respected criminal defense lawyers online. Take control of your future today!
Severity Of Sexual Offenses
Sexual offenses are serious crimes that can have lasting consequences for offenders. In Florida, individuals who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses are classified as sexual offenders or sexual predators, depending on the nature of their offenses and their legal status. If you or someone you know is facing potential misdemeanor or felony charges related to sexual offenses, it's crucial to understand the distinctions and the legal obligations associated with these designations. This is just one of the many reasons why it is so important to connect with a sex crimes lawyer as soon as you’ve been accused of a sex crimes offense.
What Defines A Sexual Offender In Florida?
A sexual offender in Florida is an individual who has been convicted of specific sexual offenses in Florida or another jurisdiction, who establishes or maintains a residence in any capacity, and is required to register as a sexual offender in Florida or another jurisdiction.
Basic Registration Obligations Of Sexual Offenders/Predators
Sexual offenders and predators in Florida are subject to rigorous registration requirements after they have been convicted of a qualifying sex crimes charge. These obligations are crucial to track and monitor their activities to ensure public safety. Registrants must report to their local sheriff's office and provide a significant amount of personal information ranging from their Social Security number to their fingerprints, vehicle information, place of employment, and contact details.
It's important to note that this information may become part of the public record unless it is exempt or confidential under Florida Statutes Chapter 119.
The frequency of reporting depends on the type of offense:
- Sexual offenders must register twice a year or four times a year, depending on the severity of their offense.
- Sexual predators, certain sexual offenders, and all juvenile sexual offenders must report four times a year.
Additionally, those who are required to register must, within 48 hours of changing their name or residence, update their driver’s license or ID. Offenders are generally required to maintain compliance with registration requirements for life.
Can A Sexual Offender/Predator Petition The Court For Removal From The Florida Registry?
While sexual predators cannot petition the court for removal of the sexual predator designation, certain sexual offenders may be eligible to request removal from the Florida registry under specific circumstances. To be considered for removal, the following criteria must be met:
- The sexual offender must have been lawfully released from sanctions, confinement, or supervision for at least 25 years.
- They must not have been arrested for any felony or misdemeanor offenses since their release.
- The offense that led to the registration requirement must not have been based on an adult conviction or violation of certain crimes listed in the Florida Statutes.
It's important to note that offenses involving serious crimes, such as kidnapping, sexual battery, lewd/lascivious molestation, and more, do not qualify for removal.
If an eligible sexual offender meets these criteria, they may petition the criminal division of the circuit court for removal. The specific court where the petition is filed depends on the details of the conviction or adjudication.
Reporting Travel Or Move Outside Of Florida Or The United States
Sexual offenders and predators who plan to move to another state within the U.S. or outside of the country have specific reporting obligations:
- If intending to establish a new residence in another state within the U.S., they must report to the sheriff of the county where they currently reside in Florida at least 48 hours before their departure date.
- If the intended residence is outside of the U.S., they must report to the sheriff of the county where they currently reside in Florida at least 21 days before their departure date.
- In addition to the address and intended residence details, international travelers must provide extensive travel information as well.
It's essential to inform the sheriff's office as soon as possible if any travel plans are unexpected and not reported within the specified time frames.
Failure To Register
Failing to register as a sexual offender is a serious offense in Florida and can result in severe penalties. It is classified as a third-degree felony, which means that offenders could face up to five years of imprisonment, an additional five years of probation, and a fine not to exceed $5,000. This highlights the importance of complying with the registration requirements – and speaking with a criminal defense lawyer if you have questions – to avoid significant legal consequences.
Facing Florida Sex Offender Registration Requirements?
If you or someone you know is facing the daunting prospect of a sex crime charge in Florida, don't navigate the legal system alone. The consequences of such charges are severe and can have a lasting impact on your life. Trust the skilled and compassionate criminal defense lawyers at The Watson Firm, PLLC to vigorously fight for your rights and defend your future.
With a track record of success in handling sex crime cases, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys understand the intricacies of Florida's laws and will strategize the best defense for your specific situation. We prioritize your well-being and will provide personalized attention to your case. Contact the sex crimes lawyers at The Watson Firm, PLLC at (850) 607-2929 or online to schedule a confidential consultation with a trusted criminal defense attorney right away.