Anyone who is suspected of or charged with a sex crime in Florida is looking at some significant, and often life-changing, potential consequences. That includes hefty fines and what can be long stretches of time behind bars. The specific consequences vary based on the nature of the crime and the person’s criminal history. In the majority of cases, they include the requirement that the person register publicly as a sex offender.
Florida law also allows courts to tag certain offenders as “sexual predators.” That status brings additional restrictions after a person is released from prison. It also includes registering as a predator in a Florida Department Law Enforcement database that alerts people when a predator is living in their neighborhoods.
Florida law reserves predator status for people who have been convicted of certain specific crimes. That includes sexual battery, human trafficking, first degree felony kidnapping, and a wide range of sex crimes including victims who are minors, elderly or disabled.
A sexual predator who is released from prison has 48 hours to register with the local sheriff’s office. Predators have to give the cops much of the same information that other sex offenders do, but they have to register more frequently (four times a year) than offenders (two times a year). A person who doesn’t properly register with the authorities faces up to five years in prison. In certain cases, that can be increased to 15 years behind bars.
Among other information, you have to give the cops your fingerprints and get a driver’s license that indicates you’ve been deemed a predator. So that local police can keep an eye on you and contact you in the event that sex offenses occur in your area, you have to give them an email address, phone number, and residence information. Sexual predators are required to inform police when they travel outside of the state or move to another jurisdiction.
If you or someone you love has been charged with (or suspected of) a sex crime in Florida, it’s crucial that you seek help from a seasoned criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you build the strongest possible defense. The earlier you seek legal guidance, the better chance you have of avoiding a conviction or reducing the charges.
The sex crime attorneys at Whittel & Melton represent clients throughout Florida who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses, including sexual assault, rape, internet solicitation and child pornography. Our attorneys work tirelessly to fight these charges. We have offices throughout the state, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. Contact us online or call (866) 608-5529 for a free evaluation.
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