The Florida sex offender registry has been described as “inescapable.” And it’s not hard to see why. Since 2005, the number of people recorded in the Florida sex offender registry has increased by 53 percent. For these people, life is a series of restrictions and obstacles that must be dealt with on a daily basis, and no matter where they go, their soiled reputation follows.
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, it’s absolutely essential that you consult a sex crimes attorney in Clearwater to maintain your innocence and avoid punishment. Individuals convicted of a sex crime not only have to contend with strict sentencing penalties but also the potential of being registered as a sex offender or sexual predator for the rest of their life. The justice system isn’t perfect; sex offenders have been exonerated for their alleged crimes after spending years in prison, but despite the state’s best efforts to make reparations, nothing can replace lost time.
Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have a deft understanding of what is truly at stake when an individual is accused of a sex crime as well as the best defenses to utilize in order to get clients’ charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. We strongly believe that every individual is innocent until proven guilty, and it is our philosophy to fight tooth and nail for our clients until a final verdict is reached.
Sex Offender Vs. Sexual Predator
The sex offender registry is divided into two types of offenders: sex offenders and sexual predators. In order to qualify as a sexual offender in the State of Florida, an individual must be convicted of a “qualifying sexual offense,” including:
- Sexual Misconduct
- False Imprisonment
- Luring/Enticing a Child
- Human Trafficking
- Sexual Battery
- Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor
- Prostitution with a Minor
- Selling/Buying Minors for Sex Trafficking/Prostitution
- Lewd/Lascivious Act in the Presence of a Minor
- Lewd/Lascivious Act in the Presence of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult
- Video Voyeurism of a Minor
- Sexual Performance Involving a Child
- Computer Pornography
- Transmission of Child Pornography
When an individual has been convicted of a sexually violent offense as described in the Florida Sexual Predators Act, they may be deemed a “sexual predator” under a written court order. This designation requires an individual to not only register themselves as a sexual predator but also report to their county sheriff’s office four times a year to confirm their registration. Even if the crime took place outside the State of Florida, you will be forced to register as a sexual predator within 48 hours of relocating to the Sunshine State. Basically, all sexual predators are sex offenders, but not all sex offenders are sexual predators. If you are accused of a sex crime, a sex crime defense attorney in Clearwater can help you avoid being logged into this registry at all, saving you a lifetime of isolation and hardship.
The Life of a Sex Offender in Florida
Once an individual has been designated as a sex offender, life only gets more difficult. Barring few exceptions, sex offender status is permanent. Once convicted of a qualifying offense, you must register for life. There’s very little room for error when handling accusations of a sex crime, which is why working closely with a sex crimes attorney in Clearwater is so important for those hoping to maintain their innocence.
Your status as a sex offender or predator could affect your options for residency, employment opportunities, who you are permitted to come into contact with, and where you are allowed to visit in your communinty. These rules are typically based on county ordinances, which means you need to stay on top of the specific sex offender rules and regulations in your area and any areas you may relocate to in the future. Unfortunately, there’s no hiding from the sex offender registration, and those who attempt to evade the system will be charged with a felony.
Consult a Sex Crime Defense Attorney in Clearwater
Many believe that Florida’s sex offender registry requirements go too far, but there’s no denying the fact that these harsh laws are here to stay. Sex crime accusations often boil down to a he said/she said situation, which means the party with the more compelling testimony has a better chance of coming out on top. If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, a free consultation with a sex crimes attorney in Clearwater can help you determine the best course of action to have your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. At Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, clients receive top-tier service because our experience includes both prosecuting and defending the accused. This unique insight gives us unparalleled clarity when assessing a client’s case and determining a suitable defense strategy.
For a free consultation with a sex crime defense attorney in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan at (727) 578-0303 today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.