Sex Offender Registration
Florida has some of the most restrictive sex offender registration laws in the nation. Attempting to navigate these laws and comply with the requirements can leave many people feeling as though the system is setting them up for failure. If you have questions regarding your obligations or an alleged violation under Florida’s sex offender registration laws, a Jacksonville sex crimes lawyer can assist you. At Ellis and Bryant, we can provide legal advice to individuals subject to Florida sex offender registration and reporting requirements. We can also help you defend against any criminal charges arising from an alleged violation, such as sexual battery or possession of child pornography.Florida Sex Offender Registration
The Florida sex offender registry is a system used by law enforcement and civilians to access information about sexual offenders and predators. Sex offender registration allows authorities to keep track of the activities and whereabouts of registered offenders. In addition, the state maintains a website that may be used by the public to search and obtain information about registered offenders, including their addresses and photographs.
In Florida, individuals classified as sex offenders and sexual predators are subject to registration and reporting obligations. A sex offender is a person with a qualifying sex crime conviction in either Florida or another jurisdiction. Qualifying convictions include sexual battery, child pornography, false imprisonment of a minor, and several other sex crimes involving minors, among other offenses. A person must register as a sexual predator if they have been convicted of a sexually violent crime, as specified under Florida law, and have been designated as a sexual predator in a written court order. Most individuals classified as sexual offenders or predators will be on the Florida sex offender registry for life. In rare cases, a sex offender may petition for removal after a 25-year period. For more information on this process and other exceptions, you can contact a sex crimes attorney.Registration Procedures & Rules
For the initial registration, the offender must report in person to the sheriff’s office in the county where they have a permanent, temporary, or transient residence. They are required to report within 48 hours after being convicted of a qualifying sexual offense, or after being released from custody. Offenders moving from another county in Florida or from out-of-state must register with the local sheriff’s office within 48 hours of establishing a permanent, temporary, or transient residence. The sheriff’s office will take the registrant’s photograph, finger and palm prints, and collect extensive information about them. Thereafter, sexual offenders must report to the county sheriff’s office two or four times a year, depending on their conviction, while sexual predators are required to report four times a year.
Individuals classified as sex offenders or predators face a number of limitations that may affect their daily lives. Parents and grandparents, in particular, may be impacted by requirements regarding visitation of schools and child care facilities. They are also disqualified from acting as a youth athletic coach. While Florida sex offender registration laws do not prohibit offenders from living in or near certain areas, some county and municipal ordinances do impose residency restrictions. Violating Florida sex offender registration laws or failing to comply with the reporting requirements may constitute a second or third degree felony offense. To avoid a criminal charge, it is important that individuals classified as sexual offenders and predators fully understand their obligations under these laws. Legal counsel can provide you with details and guidance concerning restrictions that may apply in a specific location.Seek Assistance from a Jacksonville Lawyer for Sex Offender Registration
The Jacksonville attorneys at Ellis and Bryant can explain the requirements of Florida’s sex offender registry and provide practical advice to those obligated to report. We can represent defendants in sex crime cases and other criminal matters throughout Duval and Clay Counties, including in Orange Park, Middleburg, and Jacksonville Beach. Schedule a consultation by calling Ellis and Bryant at (904) 551-4120 or contacting us online.