Florida Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Sexual Crimes in the U.S.
According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, 150,000 of the approximately 1.5 million criminals housed in federal and state prisons in the U.S. were convicted of sex-related crimes. Around 40 percent of these offenses included rape, while the other 60 percent consisted of other sexual acts, such as indecent exposure, fondling, and lewdness with children. At any given time, convicted sexual predators may make up to 30 percent of prison populations across the nation. Once sexual offenders are released, however, the real challenges and threats begin.
Whether you’ve been charged with a sex offense or are a concerned community member, it’s important to know the details of who has to register as a sex offender and what registering as a sex offender entails.
Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender?
Florida has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation. While some states allow individuals to have their names removed from the list after a specified period, Florida requires lifetime registration for certain convictions, including:
Buying and selling of minors
Lewd and lascivious behavior in the presence of the elderly or disabled
Luring or enticing a child
In Florida, those convicted of such sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders upon release. Failure to do so is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Sex Offender Registration Requirements
The general public’s opinion about sex offenders living in residential neighborhoods is highly negative, to say the least. There are various presumptions that people make about sex offenders, like assuming there are no treatment options for sexual predators and that it’s likely they’ll commit similar crimes after their release from prison.
For public safety and awareness, those convicted of sex charges are required to register with the National Sex Offender Registry. Registered sex offenders have limitations that they must abide by or else risk incarceration. These mandated limitations include:
- Limits on where a sex offender can live, work or travel in their city or neighborhoods.
- Restricted access to websites and social media.
- No participation in activities that involve children, even if it’s related to religion.
- Activities may be monitored by law enforcement.
These requirements will also vary depending on if one was convicted of being a sex offender or sexual predator. In either case, all of these stipulations create additional problems among sex offenders, like homelessness and unemployment, which makes it even more challenging to rehabilitate themselves.
What Information on Sex Offenders Is the Public Able To Access?
Once an individual registers as a sex offender, some personal information is available for the public to view. Members of the community who want to know if there is a sex offender living near them can visit www.familywatchdog.us and type in their zip code to check their neighborhood. Specific information regarding sex offenders that is available for public consumption includes:
Date of Birth
If a sex offender moves, they must alert the government immediately and re-register at their new address. If it’s discovered that a sex offender failed to register themselves or update their address, they’re subject to criminal charges and penalties.
How to Get Beyond the Sex Offender Label
If you’re facing charges as a sex offender, you might be worried about what your future will look like. Those who have completed their sentences have a difficult time trying to fit back into their communities and regain the rights and opportunities that the rest of society enjoys. If the label of “sex offender” is added to the mix, especially if people can be located on sex offender registries, finding a sense of normalcy and moving beyond their labels may pose a unique difficulty.
It’s understandable that victims of sexual crimes, as well as the communities in which they live, would find it difficult to know that a registered sex offender lives among them. While it’s not surprising that many people have these feelings, once sex offenders are released from incarceration, further punishment or persecution is illegal.
As someone who is facing charges for a sex crime, you need to know that a criminal defense attorney can work in your favor. A knowledgeable lawyer will know the appropriate strategies to reduce the charges you face and help reduce the penalties so you can return to a more typical life in the near future.
Criminal Defense Options for Accused Sex Offenders
Are you facing charges that may require you to register as a sex offender? The Orlando sex crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined experience representing individuals facing a range of charges. Contact one of the top-rated Orlando sex crime law firms today for a free case evaluation and to discuss your legal options moving forward.