What it’s Like to be a Registered Sex Offender
An an effort to enhance public safety and provide peace of mind to the general public, a sex offender registration system was enforced to allow government authorities to monitor the residence and activities of sex offenders and sexual predators. A criminal defense lawyer can answer any questions about how this process works.
Sex Offender vs. Sexual Predator
A sex offender, according to Florida Statutes is a person convicted of (or who has pled no contest or guilty to) a sex offense involving a minor and who is released on or after October 1, 1997 from the sanction (e.g., fine, incarceration, probation, etc.) imposed as a result of the offense. Offenses include, but aren’t limited to, child pornography, sexual performance by a child under 18, and procuring a person under 18 for purposes of prostitution.
A sexual predator requires that a person be convicted of a first-degree felony sex crime, or two second-degree felony sex crimes (with offenses, convictions or release from court sanctions occurring within 10 years) and which occurred after October 1, 1993. In addition, the court must issue a written order finding for predator status.
Florida Law requires sex offenders and sexual predators to register their address with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the local Sheriff’s office.
If you are a sex offender or sexual predator registered with the state, every move you make is watched and closely monitored. You are restricted in everything you do, who you meet, and how you live. All of this information is made public and available to anyone who requests it. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand exactly how restricted you will be after release.
Some terms and conditions for sex offender or sexual predators according to Florida Statutes include:
- A mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. An alternative may be recommended by the Department of Corrections.
- If the victim was under the age of 18, the offender is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet (measured by a straight line) of a school, day care center, park, playground, or other place that is commonly populated with children.
- Active participation in and successful completion of a sex offender treatment program.
- A prohibition on any contact with the victim, directly or indirectly, including a third person, unless approved by the victim, the offender’s therapist, and the sentencing court
- If the victim was under 18, no contact is allowed with anyone under the age of 18 unless specified by the court after a risk assessment.