What are the different types of sex offender designations in Florida? South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Explains

A South Florida woman holds up a hand in front of her face so that you can't tell who she is. She is standing against a wall, facing the camera, but her arm is straight out and her palm faces the camera and covers her face from the camera.There are two different types of sex offender designations in Florida for people who’ve been convicted of certain sex crimes. The two Sex offender designations are: sexual offenders and sexual predators. 


Florida takes sex crime cases involving sex offender designations very seriously. There are specific crimes that, if convicted, requires a person to register as a sexual offender in Florida. Being a designated sexual predator essentially requires that a person meets the criteria for being a sexual offender, and also satisfies a few other elements - such as the court deemed the offense was particularly violent. 


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) both compiles with and manages the Florida Sex Offender Registry. The Florida Sex Offender Registry more or less functions as a directory of people who’ve been convicted of a sex crime resulting in a sex offender registration. In order to appear on this sex offender list, individuals must have been convicted of certain sex crimes in Florida that could lead them to be labeled as a sexual offender or a sexual predator. 


Who needs to register as a Sex Offender in Florida?

Any person who has been convicted of any of the following crimes must register as a sexual offender in the state of Florida, according to Florida state law

A sexual offender is an individual who has the duty to register their adult sex-crime conviction. The purpose of a sexual offender registration is to keep police aware of sex offender’s presence in counties, to inform police of travel plans, and to update personal information (address, name, fingerprints, photos, occupation, car info, etc.)


Individuals who have been given the title ‘sex offender,’ must report to the local sheriff’s office and complete a registration 2- 4 times per year. If you’re transient, you need to update your registration every 30 days. 


How often you’re required to register with local Florida authorities within the year ultimately depends upon the specific offense as well as the gravity of it. All juvenile sexual offenders and sexual predators are required to comply quarterly and every sexual offender and sexual predator must continue maintaining this registration for the rest of their life. 


To be labeled as a sexual predator in Florida is a bit more of a process. To be deemed a sexual predator, a person must be given a written court order that states the individual as such and the person must have either been convicted of a sexually violent offense or have been “civilly committed under the Florida Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act”. 


The Florida Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act was named after a child, who fell victim to an extremely violent and dangerous individual, who had been previously convicted of a sexually-related criminal offense and later released from prison. This act permits involuntary civil commitment indefinitely, meaning that theoretically, an individual could finish or complete their prison sentence and still be held civilly, involuntarily, for the remainder of their life. 


If I am a sexual predator or a sexual offender and I just moved, do I need to do anything?

Yes. Florida sexual offender requirements mandate that if there is a change of address or driver’s license/identification card changes, you must report these changes to police within 48 hours. This rule also applies if you have changed your legal name. 


Are there any geographic restrictions in Florida for people who’ve been registered as Sex Offenders?

There are a few unique rules on where a person can or can’t live if they’ve been registered as a sexual offender in Florida. 


Florida sex offenders and sex predators are allowed to share a residence with another sex offender/sex predator. Even though the state itself does not generally choose to restrict sex offenders or sex predators from living in a specific area, local municipal and country ordinances do. 


Your safest bet is to contact your local law enforcement agency before deciding to move to see if there happen to be any restrictions in place. 


If sexual offenders or predators committed an offense with a victim under the age of 16, then there are more restrictions in place. Restrictions include:

  • Living within 1,000 feet of a school, child care facility, park and/or a playground

In order to avoid any more problems with law enforcement, make sure to consult them before moving anywhere in Florida. 


If I am a sexual predator or sexual offender in Florida, is there any way I can get off the sex offender registry? 

Sexual Offenders in Florida sometimes have options for inquiring or petitioning to get off the sex offender registry. Currently, however, Florida has made no moves to help individuals registered as sexual predators to petition the court for removal.


Generally speaking, it is more likely that you will have to remain on the registry whether you’ve been labeled a sexual predator or a sexual offender. 


If you believe that you fall under the categories that allow you to petition, contact your criminal defense attorney and seek out their opinion. 


Free Consultation in South Florida

We handle sex crime cases of all types. We know how to protect your rights and provide you with a personalized and aggressive defense to your criminal charges to help protect your future and livelihood. The best way to avoid needing to file as a sexual offender or predator is to avoid being convicted of a sex crime in Florida in the first place.


We offer FREE strategy sessions so you know how we’ll work to get the best possible result on your case for you.


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