Florida, like most states, keeps track of people who have been convicted of sex crimes. As such, there are numerous criminal convictions that can require a person to register as a sex offender. Being forced to register as a sex offender can greatly impair a person’s ability to find employment, housing, and maintain relationships. Many people who are on the registry, therefore, contemplate whether it is possible to get their names permanently removed from the list. If you were convicted of a sex crime, it is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to explore what measures you can take to protect your rights.
Sex Offender Registry in Florida
The Florida Sex Offender Registry is a searchable public database that provides information regarding people who have been convicted of certain crimes. Specifically, it lists their names, date of birth, race, sex, hair and eye color, height, and weight. The registry also includes people’s occupations, including whether they have any professional licenses, notes, tattoos, or other identifying marks, and has a photograph of the person.
Pursuant to statutory law, people are required to register as sex offenders if they have been convicted for numerous crimes that are sexual in nature, including rape, sexual battery, child molestation and prostitution, lewd and lascivious offenses, like public exposure, and possession or distribution of child pornography. Even crimes that do not seem inherently sexual, like kidnapping and false imprisonment, may require a person to register as a sex offender. In many instances, people are not aware of the requirement to register as a sex offender if they are convicted of certain crimes and will unwittingly plead guilty and subsequently have to place their name on the list.
Removal from the Sex Offender Registry
There are numerous avenues for seeking removal from the sex offender registry. For example, a person that obtains a pardon or other post-conviction relief can seek removal. Additionally, a person who has been on the registry for twenty-five years without any intervening arrests for a misdemeanor or felony crime can petition the court for removal.
Certain laws exempt people from having to register as sex offenders as well. Specifically, Florida Statutes section 943.04354, also referred to as the Romeo & Juliet law, allows people convicted of crimes to seek relief from sex offender registration requirements if the victim of the alleged crime was over thirteen but under eighteen, the offender was not more than four years older than the victim, and the sexual behavior between the victim and the offender was consensual. To be eligible for an exemption, the offender’s record must be clear of other qualifying sex crimes.
Speak to a Capable Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg
Being placed on a sex offender registry can greatly impact a person’s life, and people on the registry should speak to an attorney to discuss whether they could be removed. William Hanlon of Hanlon Law is a capable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney, and if you are a registered sex offender, he can help you to pursue your desired outcome. You can contact Mr. Hanlon via the form online or at 727-897-5413 to set up a meeting.