What Sex Offenders Need to Know as Police Busts Increase in Central Florida
Authorities from Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshals Service, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked collaboratively in what they call “Operation 2020 Vision”—an assignment directed toward locating newly discovered unlisted sex offenders, unregistered vehicles, phones, and incompliant transient offenders.
In an effort to check on the adherence of current sex offenders, the mission identified and arrested 58 sex offenders after police found that some failed to register. Others were found to be in violation of the Adam Walsh Act and in possession of prohibited items. The purpose of this mission, which took place between March 2 to August 29, 2020, was to reduce and prevent further sex crimes in order to contribute to a healthier community.
A bust this large justifies the need for a discussion about ways that sex offenders can protect themselves in Central Florida. Let’s take a deeper look at the meaning of the Adam Walsh Act, the registration requirements for sex offenders, and potential options for removal from the Florida sex offender registry.
What Is the Adam Walsh Act?
The Adam Walsh Act is a child protection and safety act that was established in 2006 during the presidency of George W. Bush. The motivation behind the law was in honor of a boy named Adam Walsh, who was abducted and murdered by Ottis Toole, an American serial killer. The act made notable changes to federal statutes concerning sexual abuse, exploitation, and transportation among minors. Some of the main components of the act include:
- Eliminating the statute of limitations for sex crimes
- Limiting defense discovery of child pornography cases
- Allowing the government to collect DNA from those not convicted of any crime
- Permitting victims to receive damages up to $150,000 in civil actions
The most significant provisional change was the creation of the national sex offender registry list. There are several penalties for sex offenders who violate registration requirements.
What Are Registration Requirements for Sex Offenders in Central FL?
The state of Florida has some of the world’s most stern sex offender requirements. If you were convicted of a sexual offense, you will be required to submit a substantial amount of personal information to police, including but not limited to the following:
- Legal name in full
- Social Security number
- Height and weight
- Eye color and hair color
- Email address and phone number
- Current residential address
- Current employment address
- A recent photograph
- Set of fingerprints
- Description of the crime committed
If any of this information were to change, you would need to contact the local police department within 48 hours to replace or update expired data. Failure to register in Florida is a third-degree felony offense, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Do Sex Offenders Have Any Options for Clearing Their Record?
Once you are registered as a sex offender in Florida, you remain one for life. Also, your criminal records and information are available to the public. The consequences of a criminal record may follow you through life, affecting your ability to find housing and employment. Many prior sex offenders who served their time ask if there are any options for clearing their record. There are a few, but they warrant the skill of a sex crime attorney. Some of these options include The Romeo and Juliet Law, post-conviction relief, full pardon, or petition for registration removal after 25 years.
Get Help from an Experienced Sex Crime Lawyer in Central FL
Being on a sex offender registry can uproot your life—which can cost you a great deal personally and professionally. You owe it to yourself to seek help from an experienced sex crime lawyer who can inform you of your options and potential defense strategies that may be available to you. If you are facing sex crime charges, the criminal defense attorneys at the Umansky Law Firm will aggressively protect your rights.
Here at the Umansky Law Firm, our legal team presents a tough, aggressive approach to those accused of sex crimes. The law states that you’re innocent until proven guilty, and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure you achieve a positive outcome in your case. Consult one of our Board-Certified attorneys today by calling our office or completing a contact form.