Sex offender laws in Florida
Sex crimes are illegal actions that involve any sexual misconduct, assault, unlawful sexual behavior, or illegal pornography. The penalties for sex crimes can be very severe and can include jail time, fines, and lifetime supervision. Florida state law requires sex offenders who are deemed sexual predators to update the local law enforcement strictly with their whereabouts. The state is allowed to impose strict penalties for those who fail to inform the police within two days of moving.
These crimes can range from violent and non-violent sexually-related offenses, sexual battery to video voyeurism. Several crimes that are committed by a minor who is 14 or older also need to register. Registration is a lifetime requirement, with little to no chance for removal.
After offenders register as a sex offender, their name, address and picture are accessible by the public on the sex offender registry. The registry enables users with the option to print flyers of individuals, and to track a person’s whereabouts in the event, they move close to any address the user chooses to monitor.
- It is mandatory for offenders to report to their local sheriff’s office and provide them with their name, address and other identifying information, including their social security number, fingerprints, picture, place of employment, vehicle information, home, and cell phone numbers and all email addresses.
- Sex offenders must continue to report this information two or four times a year, depending on the offense, for life.
- If offenders move or change their name, they must update their driver’s license or identification card with the new information within 48 hours of the change.
- Registration is a lifetime requirement.
- Sex offenders are listed on the Florida public registry even a year after they have died before they are finally removed from the registry.
- People who move to Florida who has registered in another state must also enroll in Florida, even if they are only here temporarily for school or work. Even if the offender is just visiting, he/she will be added to the public registry and never removed.
The state of Florida treats Sexual Predators and Sex Offenders differently
Florida law differentiates between sex offenders and sexual predators.
Sexual predators are considered to be a particular type of sexual offender, namely, repeat sexual offenders, who use physical violence, and sexual offenders who prey on children and minors.
A sexual predator is usually convicted of certain sexually violent offenses outlined in the statute, also designated as a sexual predator by written court order, or civilly committed under the Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act. These sexual predators are considered to be dangerous and an extreme threat to public safety, as they are likely to use violence and repeat their offenses.
However, unless they are designated in writing by a court as a sexual predator, the unique requirements of the Florida Sexual Predators Act do not apply.
Restrictions faced by sex offenders and predators
In some jurisdictions, convicted sex offenders not only have to register but may also face limitations on where they can live, being in any location where minors could be present such as parks, schools or playgrounds, or the use of the internet.
The laws in Florida do not include residency restrictions such as where offenders may live or whether they may live with another person who is also a registered sex offender, but different counties and municipalities in the state may have their ordinances in this regard. Concerning certain offenses, Offenders can be prohibited from visiting a park, school or child care center.
Failure to comply with registry
The failure or violation to register as a sexual offender is considered a Third Degree Felony which is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.