Registering as a sexual offender may remind you of an unpleasant time in your life that you would prefer not to revisit. Having your next-door neighbors and friends learn about your past may be humiliating, but Florida law requires you to register if you have been convicted of a sexual offense. We understand your dilemma, but failing to comply with Florida statute could result in another imprisonment if you are found to have violated the sexual offender registry law.
Whether you have just been released from prison or relocated within Florida and did not visit your county sheriff’s department within 48 hours after establishing your new residency, you can be arrested if you are stopped by police or reported by an individual. Florida has one of the toughest sex offender laws in the nation and ignorance of state regulations will not be tolerated by law enforcement, the court and members of the public.
If you are in trouble because you did not register, contact the law office of Katz & Phillips, P.A. The firm has experienced attorneys who are knowledgeable of the Florida statutes regarding sexual offenses. We will discuss legal options to defend you against any criminal charges that may arise from your failure to register as a sex offender in Florida.
Florida’s Statute 943.043 requires convicted sexual offenders and sexual predators to register in person at their local sheriff’s office. Juveniles convicted as an adult for a sexual offense must also register.
Florida law defines sexual predators as adults convicted of a sexually violent offense resulting in a capital, life or first-degree felony charge or those who committed two second-degree felony sex crimes within a 10-year period. The statute requires the court to make a written finding at sentencing that the individual is a sexual predator. A sexual offender is defined by law as a person convicted of a sexual offense involving a minor, which includes kidnapping, selling or buying minors into sex trafficking or prostitution, and luring or enticing a child.
Sexual predators/offenders must register whenever they relocate, as well as in their birth month and six months afterward. Some sexual offenders whose crime involved a minor are required to register four times a year, in their birth month and every three months afterward.
Florida’s statute spells out specific information that all sexual offenders must bring to the county sheriff’s office for registration. The information includes:
Names and addresses are placed on the Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators Registry for public viewing. After registering at the sheriff’s office, individuals are also required within 48 hours to go to their local Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle office to update the address on their driver’s license or state-issued identification card.
Failing to register as a sex offender or predator is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. If you are facing a court case because of your failure to register as a sex offender, do not attempt to act as your own attorney; contact Katz & Phillips, P.A. today. Founding partner James D. Phillips is a former assistant Florida state attorney who now focuses on major felony crimes, including sex offenses. Mr. Phillips’ experience in both prosecuting criminal cases and defending individuals in criminal cases gives him the skills to provide the legal representation you need to resolve your criminal matter.
Contact us to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your criminal case.