Understanding Florida's sex offender registration requirements - IV

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing examination of the rather onerous registration requirements to which those labeled sexual offenders or sexual predators are subject under Florida law.

In our last post on this topic, we explored the available options for removal from the registry and, in today's post, we'll explore another possible removal option for younger individuals, as well as the strict registration requirements governing out-of-state sex offenders.

The Romeo & Juliet Law

In recognition of the grave injustice that can result from requiring juveniles or young adults to register as sexual offenders or sexual predators for life solely because of their relationship with another young person, state lawmakers have passed the Romeo & Juliet Law.

While a complete breakdown of the statute is clearly beyond the scope of a single blog post, it essentially enables certain offenders to be exempted from the sex offender registration requirement provided they satisfy certain criteria, including:

  • The underlying offense is the only sex crime on their record requiring registration.
  • The victim in the underlying offense must have been at least 13 years old and no more than 17 years old.
  • The victim in the underlying offense must have been no more than four years younger.
  • The sexual activity was consensual.

Out-of-state sex offenders

It's important for individuals who must register as sexual offenders/predators in their home states to understand that if they plan to come to the Sunshine State for anything from work or school to vacations or visits with family they will be subject to similar registration requirements.

Indeed, any such individual must report to the local sheriff's office in person within 48 hours of establishing a temporary residence, which is defined as the following:

  • A place where the offender/predator abides, lodges, or resides for a period of 5 or more days in total during any calendar year, and is not their permanent address; or
  • A place where the offender/predator is employed or is enrolled as a student for any period of time

Failure to abide by these registration requirements is a third-degree felony.

Here's hoping the foregoing conversation has not only proven informative, but also helped impress upon people the gravity of sex crime charges and the corresponding need to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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