Sex Offender Penalties in Florida have Serious Consequences for people convicted of sex crimes

a victim of sexual abuse faces away from the camera sn speaks to a detective in Fort Lauderdale about a sex offender in her neighborhood in South FloridaIf you're here on our site, it could mean that either you, or someone you love, have questions about what penalties come with being a registered sex offender in Florida. Or, perhaps you’re a victim of a sex crime and looking for some answers. 


We hope that our site helps offer some clarity on the penalties and consequences that face registered sex offenders in Florida. Please reach out if we can help you in any way.


Who needs to register as a sex offender in Florida?

Every person convicted of a sexually related felony offense in Florida is declared a sexual offender and is forced to comply with sexual offender registration laws throughout Florida and the United States. 


In Florida, there are two designations for individuals convicted of sex crimes who are required to register as a sex offender:

  1. Sexual Predators
  2. Sexual Offenders

Under Florida 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. Sex offenders must update their residence every three to six months for their entire life.


If someone was required to register as a sex offender in another state, but then later moved to Florida - they will also be required to register as a sex offender in Florida and be subject to all the same rules as people who had to register as sex offenders in Florida for committing sex crimes in Florida. 


What Sex Crimes Require Sexual Offender Registration?

Any felony sex crime in Florida requires sex offender registration. 


Such offenses may include rape, sexual assault and child molestation, for example. 


Sex offender registration must be completed in person, within 48 hours of when people establish a residence or are released from custody such as jail and prison. 


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 in Florida, people are required to provide a range of information, including:

  • their name
  • date of birth
  • social security number
  • permanent or temporary legal addresses
  • place of employment and occupation
  • makes, models, and vehicle identification numbers of any vehicles that they own
  • their phone numbers
  • their Internet identifiers 
  • 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.


Sex Offender Probation in Florida

Every person convicted of any sexually related felony offense in Florida is placed on Sex Offender Probation, which restricts where an offender can live, it imposes a curfew, it requires mandatory sex offender counseling, and restricts where people registered as sex offenders can work. 


After a conviction of most sex crimes in Florida, the defendant is required to register as a sex offender. This Florida sex offender database is controlled by the government.


Sex Offender information about the offender's location and place of employment is regularly updated.


Neighbors and employers can request information about sex offenders in their location. Sex offender registration prohibits sex offenders from living by schools or other places where children are commonly present.


Restrictions Regarding Florida Sex Offender Residency and Work 

Someone who’s been convicted of a sex crime involving a child under 16 years of age is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of places with a high number of children - such as schools, playgrounds, daycare centers, and parks. 


Some local ordinances have greater restrictions, such as not allowing a Florida registered sex offender to loiter within a certain number of feet from these locations.


People who are registered as sex offenders may also face employment restrictions. They may not be able to work at a job that involves any business, school, daycare, park, playground or other location where children are regularly present. These restrictions can make it difficult for a defendant to find a place to live and work.


Prison Time for Registered Sex Offenders in Florida

Prison time will vary greatly depending on the sex crime. The jail and prison penalties for sex crimes in Florida are vast. It depends on the age of the defendant, the age of the victim, the nature of the crime, whether or not the crime was violent in nature, and other risk factors such as if the defendant sexually abused a stranger or someone known to him or her, etc. 


Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Florida is a Felony Crime

Failing to register as a sex offender in Florida is a felony offense. Failing to register as a sex offender in Florida if you’ve been convicted of a sex crime is a third-degree felony. 


If convicted of this charge, the offender 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, or  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.


There are also legal and punitive consequences for failing to report a change in address if you are a registered sex offender. There can even be penalties if you report the address change too late and not within the designated time.


CONCLUSION: Sex Offender Penalties in Florida are Serious 

Being labeled as a sex offender in Florida is a big deal. There are numerous penalties, and so many rules to keep up with if you are someone who has been convicted of a sex crime and made to register as a sex offender in Florida. 


If you are worried about sexual offender registration in South Florida, or have any questions - feel free to reach out to our attorneys. 


We’re here to help and have handled numerous sex crime offenses in South Florida. If you are charged with a subsequent crime of failing to register as a sex offender or failing to report a change in address, we recommend that you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you as soon as possible. 


We don’t mean to sound dramatic, but getting an attorney quickly is very important so that a great criminal defense attorney can get to work defending you and your rights and doing everything they can to help you not be sentenced to another 5-10 - or more - years in prison for a crime that you already served time for.

Facing a sex crime allegation? Call us today to schedule a free consultation: