The Sex Offender Registry has numerous and burdensome requirements for those tasked with complying. Under, the Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act (SORNA), an individual who is required to register as a sex offender must register at least once a year; report any change of address within as little as three days; produce vehicle information, a recent photograph, and a DNA sample; and abide by stringent residency restrictions, which can force them out of urban areas, away from family and into unemployment.
Florida has some of the most restrictive sex offender registration and sentencing laws in the nation. Under state law, there are two separate designations for those convicted of crimes mandating sex offender registration — sexual predators and sexual offenders.
What Convictions Lead to Registration in Florida?
Florida ascribes the sexual predator designation for the most dangerous offenders who have been convicted of a capital, life, or first-degree felony sex crimes or two or more second-degree felony sex crimes. This specific designation is issued by the court in writing describing the person as a sexual predator.
A person convicted and described as a sexual predator face lifetime registration.
Crimes that can land you on this list include kidnapping, sexual battery, computer pornography, and sexual misconduct. Usually persons accused of these crimes are sentenced to length prison terms, but if the individual does leave prison, then he or she is required to register as a sex offender by reporting in-person with the local sheriff's department within 48 hours of establishing residency in the state. If the offender is still in the custody of a Florida prison or jail, then the institution will usually initiate the process of registration.
Those convicted of the above listed crimes eligible for registration arguably need enhanced supervision to enhance public safety, but other less serious crimes will still land people on the registry, like public urination.
What Information Does a Person Registering Report?
A person who is leaving a term of incarceration and first registering as a sex offender must provide their full ame, age, date of birth, and Social Security number. Additionally, physical traits will be reported like height, weight, race, sex, eye color, and hair color - when these physical characterics change, the registry desctiption will be amended to coinside.
A person must report his or her home address and work address, so that distance to banned locations like schools and churches can be calculated.
A recent photograph is taken and fingerprints are made. Along with all this information, the person's file will include a description of his or her crime, where and when it was committed, as well as what sentence the person registering received.
How can an Attorney Help Me With Registration?
Florida has a public safety interest in monitoring activities and limiting contact with children for the most dangerous offenders, but the law also makes it difficult for those who do not pose a risk of reoffending to reenter society and attempt to reestablish their lives by finding suitable housing and lasting employment. Contact the professionals at the OA Law Firm if you have been charged with a sex-based offense or if you have further questions about registration.