Consequences of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Florida
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Florida is a Felony of the 3rd degree. As a 3rd Degree Felony, the crime of failing to register as a sex offender is punishable by up to 5 years in department of corrections. The elements of the criminal act for failing to register as a sex offender are: (i) the accused must fit into the class of individuals known as a “sex offender” required to register under section 943.0435; (ii) the accused must have knowledge that he or she is obligated to register under the provisions of section 943.0435; and (iii) the accused has fulfilled the required time period of the many provisions of the statute, as it refers to living arrangements, within the State of Florida.
Failure to register as a sex offender provides many challenges for the accused. First, after being arrest for failing to register as a sex offender, bond is not liberally given, by most first appearance judges. Second, if bond is set, it will usually contain strict conditions that are imposed on the accused. Third, the accused is usually facing a sentence of imprisonment not only because of the nature of the crime but also because of their prior criminal record. Lastly, in order to get the best possible results in crimes like, failing to register as sex offender, it is likely that the accused will have to go to trial on the case, because many times the plea offer is very stiff.
In Florida, the Florida Supreme Court has determined that a sex offender has a continuing duty to register. But this continuing duty only exist if the sex offender has knowledge that he or she must register. Also of great importance regarding the law of failing to register as a sex offender is, the fact that, the statute of limitations runs out in three-years. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the Statute of Limitations begins to run, not when the sex offender registers at the DMV or Sheriff’s office, but when the Law Enforcement Officer or Authorities actually have knowledge that a warrant or capias has been issued.
If a sex offender has a warrant or capias issued for their arrest and they have resided in the same location, or were employed in the same location, or were incarcerated in the same location and law enforcement officers had knowledge or could have found the offender’s location with just the smallest amount of due diligence; then the case should be dismissed for a violation of the statute of limitations. This is a very important principle of law that must be examined in all failing to register sex cases, when the accused believes their criminal case has gone stale.
West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, Andrew D. Stine, has been defending sex offenders, those who failed to register as sex offenders, lewd and lascivious battery cases and all other sex crimes since 2003. If you or loved one is in need of a criminal lawyer for a sex crime in Florida, telephone 561 832 1170 for your free immediate consultation. Hire Stine or Do The Time.