One of the more unfortunate and pernicious realities of a conviction on sex crime charges is that even after a person has paid their debt to society, they will not only face unfair stigmatization, but also prove largely unable to escape from under the long shadow cast by Florida law enforcement.
Indeed, this long shadow is perhaps best personified by the state's sex crime registry, which, in addition to ensuring a lifetime of regular contact with authorities, can limit travel, jeopardize job opportunities and make life considerably more difficult for those convicted of otherwise minor offenses.
In today's post, the first in a series, we'll start taking a closer look at Florida's sex offender registry. The purpose in doing this is not to cause unnecessary alarm among those currently under investigation or dismay among those subject to its draconian requirements, but rather to demonstrate why it's so imperative that anyone facing sex crime charges consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.
Any examination of Florida's sex offender registry must, of course, be prefaced by a closer look at the distinction between someone classified by the courts as a sexual offender and someone classified by the courts as a sexual predator. As we'll explore in future posts, the distinction is significant as far as registration obligations are concerned.
A sexual offender is generally classified as:
- Anyone who has been convicted of one of many qualifying sexual offenses here in Florida or another state
- Anyone who was released from or is currently on probation or parole for one of many qualifying sexual offenses here in Florida or another state
- Anyone who has or would have a requirement to register as a sexual offender in another state, and establishes or maintains a Florida residence.
A sexual predator is generally classified as:
- Anyone who has been convicted of one of many qualifying violent sexual offenses here in Florida or another state, and has been designated as such by a written court order.
We will continue to examine this important topic in future posts.
At the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., we understand how devastating it can be to see your name included on the sex crime registry. The consequences of registering as a sex offender or sexual predator should be considered before deciding whether to enter a plea agreement. A plea offer by the prosecution that offers probation and no jail time because the state case is weak may not be worth taking if the consequences of registering as a sex offender are considered.