When someone is convicted of a sex crime in Florida, they are required to register as a sex offender for life, regardless of their offense. This means that a conviction for a less serious sex crime (compared to those involving violence or children) can lead to very similar lifelong consequences after one’s release from prison.
Simply put, society treats registered sex offenders differently. Not only is there a stigma attached to this term, but registered sex offenders often find it much harder to secure employment, housing, and other necessities. They can also experience poor treatment from their neighbors and other members of their communities, which can make it difficult to build a new life.
What Information Is Included in the Sex Offender Registry?
Registered sex offenders are researchable through a publicly searchable database. For the remainder of their lives, convicted sex offenders must register three or four months a year (depending on their offense) by providing current biographical information to law enforcement.
Such information includes the following:
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Weight and height
- Eye and hair color
- Tattoos and other identifying marks
- Palm prints
- Current photograph
- Occupation and place of employment
- Residential addresses or if transient (homeless)
- Vehicle information
- All personal telephone numbers (home, cell, etc.)
Restrictions on Sex Offenders
We already discussed some of the social restrictions sex offenders might experience in their communities. After their release from prison, however, they will face legal restrictions as well.
For example, sex offenders are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a playground, school, park, or childcare center. This restriction alone can make it very difficult for registered sex offenders to find affordable housing within a reasonable distance from their place of employment.
Can People Get Removed from the Sex Offender Registry?
Placement on Florida’s sex offender registry is for life, but certain sex offenders can apply for removal under specific circumstances.
After 20 years on the registry, sex offenders can petition for removal if they were not originally convicted of:
- Sexual battery
- Lewd or lascivious offense committed before minor younger than 16
- Sexual performance by a child
- Computer pornography
- Prohibited computer use or traveling to meet a minor
Additionally, defendants can petition for removal after 20 years if they were within four years in age to a victim aged 14 to 17 years old. Removal from the registry is also possible if the sex offender is issued a gubernatorial or presidential pardon.
The only other way people are taken off the sex offender registry is death, but even this doesn’t occur until a full year has elapsed from the date of death.
Charged with a Sex Crime? We Can Help.
The consequences of a sex crime conviction are very severe. Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. can help clients facing these charges by building personalized legal strategies that can lead them to better outcomes.
For more information about how we can help, contact Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. online now.