The Reality of Being Convicted of a Sex Offense in Florida
In many cases, sex crime allegations are an unfortunate manipulation of innocent circumstances and the legal system. Regardless of the origin of the allegations, the conviction of a sex offense under Florida law is often accompanied by a prison sentence and fines. And even after an individual has finished serving a sentence and paying off a legally-imposed debt, a sex offense conviction can still have long-reaching implications that follow for a lifetime.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, a recent report published by legislative auditors in the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability indicates that the rate of convicted sex offenders who reside in the state has increased by 53 percent since 2005. Now, there are more than 29,000 people living among the public who are required to register as sex offenders and comply with Florida stipulations.
But what is the reality of being a convicted sex offender in Florida?
Who Qualifies as a Sex Offender Under Florida Law?
Under Florida law, there are multiple types of both violent and nonviolent crimes an individual can be convicted under which are considered sex offenses. These crimes range from human trafficking to certain types of pornography.
What is the Registration Requirement?
Convicted sex offenders are required to report personal information to authorities which is recorded on the online database maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Additionally, offenders must keep authorities abreast of changes. Even a simple move to the next town over requires a visit to the town sheriff’s office within 48 hours of changing addresses. This remains true even if the move is temporary or transient.
What is the Reasoning Behind Requiring Convicted Sex Offenders to Register?
It is based largely in the perceived interest of public safety. The idea is that the public can remain more protected by having convicted offenders readily identified. For example, a family with young children can search the address of a house they are considering buying, discover a convicted sex offender lives next door, and choose to buy elsewhere.
However, this also means that the details of an individual’s conviction as well as his or her personal information are all easily accessible at the click of a button to everyone from prospective employers to romantic interests. And while an arguable safety measure for the public, the convicted individual is often treated as an outcast of the community. This can have its own implications and make an individual who is trying to rejoin society a target for harassment, violence, and other issues.
Allow Us to Help.
Defending a sex offense accusation is no easy task. Many sex crimes attorneys do not have what it takes to successfully defend someone who has been charged with this kind of crime. Because the outcome of this kind of claim can have lasting implications, it is critical that you reach out for help from a sex crimes attorney who can take control of your case. As a former prosecutor with extensive criminal experience on both sides of the legal system, Donald C. Barrett is the Tampa sex crimes attorney you need to help you defend your name. Schedule a consultation today.