An overview of failure to register as a sex offender charges in Florida

Some criminal convictions in Florida carry penalties beyond just possible jail time and fines. Those convicted of certain sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders, even after they have served their sentences. Whether it is to stay off of the grid, to avoid the social stigma or for other reasons, however, some may fail to register. Regardless of the reasoning, failing to register as a sex offender may be considered a serious offense, and could result in additional penalties.

Recently, masslive.com reported that a man was arrested in West Springfield, Massachusetts, for failing to register as a sex offender in Florida. The man allegedly moved to Florida and was living in a trailer park there without having notified the proper authorities. It was not disclosed why he was in Florida, or how long he was there. When he moved back to Massachusetts, the man re-registered, however, he was ultimately arrested on a warrant out of Florida. Since bail is not available for this offense, he will remain in custody until he is transported back to Florida to face the charges, or they are otherwise resolved.

Sex offender registration requirements

Under Florida state law, those convicted of qualifying sexual offenses are required to register at their local sheriff's office after establishing a permanent, temporary or transient residence. Such offenses may include rape, sexual assault and child molestation. Sex offender registration must be completed in person, within 48 hours of when people establish a residence or are released from custody. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, depending on the particular offense a person is convicted of, he or she will be required to register two or four times per year.

When registering as sex offenders, people are required to provide a range of information, including their name, date of birth, social security number, and their permanent or temporary legal addresses. Additionally, they must provide their place of employment and occupation; the makes, models, and vehicle identification numbers of any vehicles that they own; their phone numbers; and their Internet identifiers and email addresses. If there are any changes to any of this information, such as a move or a name change, those registered as sex offenders are required to re-register within 48 hours.

Failure to register

Under Florida state law, failing to comply with this mandatory registration is considered a third degree felony offense. Therefore, if convicted of this charge, people could be sentenced to up to five years in jail. This sentence may be extended to up to 10 years, or more, depending on a person's prior criminal record, if he or she is deemed a habitual felony offender. Furthermore, those convicted of failure to register as a sex offender may be fined up to $5,000.

Seeking legal guidance

Anyone found guilty of sex offenses in Tampa, and throughout Florida, know the life changing impact that such convictions can have. In order to protect their futures, those charged with sex crimes may consider consulting with an attorney. A legal representative may help them build a strong defense, as well as explain their options.