In another article, we examined Florida’s sex offender laws. In this article, we explain Florida’s laws concerning sex offender registration. If you have been designated a sex offender, you have very strict registration requirements and failure to meet these requirements may result in a felony charge of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. According to Florida Statute 943.0435, upon initial registration, a sex offender SHALL:
1. Report to the Sheriff’s office:
a. In the county in which the offender establishes or maintains a permanent, temporary, or transient residence within 48 hours after:
i. Establishing permanent, temporary, or transient residence in this state; or
ii. Being released from the custody, control, or supervision of the Department of Corrections or from the custody of a private correctional facility; or
b. In the county where he or she was convicted within 48 hours after being convicted for a qualifying offense for registration if the offender is not in the custody or control of, or under the supervision of, the Department of Corrections, or is not in the custody of a private correctional facility.
Any change in the information required to be provided pursuant to paragraph (b), including, but not limited to, any change in the sexual offender’s permanent, temporary, or transient residence; name; electronic mail addresses; Internet identifiers and each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name; home telephone numbers and cellular telephone numbers; employment information; and any change in status at an institution of higher education after the sexual offender reports in person at the sheriff’s office must be reported in the manner provided in subsections (4), (7), and (8).
2. Provide his or her name; date of birth; social security number; race; sex; height; weight; hair and eye color; tattoos or other identifying marks; fingerprints; palm prints; photograph; employment information; address of permanent or legal residence or address of any current temporary residence, within the state or out of state, including a rural route address and a post office box; if no permanent or temporary address, any transient residence within the state, address, location or description, and dates of any current or known future temporary residence within the state or out of state; the make, model, color, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license tag number of all vehicles owned; home telephone numbers and cellular telephone numbers; electronic mail addresses; Internet identifiers and each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name; date and place of each conviction; and a brief description of the crime or crimes committed by the offender. A post office box may not be provided in lieu of a physical residential address. The sexual offender shall also produce his or her passport, if he or she has a passport, and, if he or she is an alien, shall produce or provide information about documents establishing his or her immigration status. The sexual offender shall also provide information about any professional licenses he or she has
a. If the sexual offender’s place of residence is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home, as defined in chapter 320, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department through the sheriff’s office written notice of the vehicle identification number; the license tag number; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home. If the sexual offender’s place of residence is a vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat, as defined in chapter 327, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department written notice of the hull identification number; the manufacturer’s serial number; the name of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat.
b. If the sexual offender is enrolled or employed, whether for compensation or as a volunteer, at an institution of higher education in this state, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department the name, address, and county of each institution, including each campus attended, and the sexual offender’s enrollment, volunteer, or employment status. The sheriff, the Department of Corrections, or the Department of Juvenile Justice shall promptly notify each institution of higher education of the sexual offender’s presence and any change in the sexual offender’s enrollment, volunteer, or employment status.
c. A sexual offender shall report in person to the sheriff’s office within 48 hours after any change in vehicles owned to report those vehicle information changes.
3. Provide any other information determined necessary by the department, including criminal and corrections records; nonprivileged personnel and treatment records; and evidentiary genetic markers, when available.
4. Within 48 hours after the report required under subsection (2), a sexual offender shall report in person at a driver license office of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, unless a driver license or identification card that complies with the requirements of s. 322.141(3) was previously secured or updated under s. 944.607. At the driver license office the sexual offender shall:
a. If otherwise qualified, secure a Florida driver license, renew a Florida driver license, or secure an identification card. The sexual offender shall identify himself or herself as a sexual offender who is required to comply with this section and shall provide proof that the sexual offender reported as required in subsection (2). The sexual offender shall provide any of the information specified in subsection (2), if requested. The sexual offender shall submit to the taking of a photograph for use in issuing a driver license, renewed license, or identification card, and for use by the department in maintaining current records of sexual offenders.
b. Pay the costs assessed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for issuing or renewing a driver license or identification card as required by this section. The driver license or identification card issued must be in compliance with s. 322.141(3).
c. Provide, upon request, any additional information necessary to confirm the identity of the sexual offender, including a set of fingerprints.
5. Driver’s license renewal and changes must be reported.
6. Changes in residence must be reported within 48 hours.
7. All electronic mailing addresses and internet identifiers must be registered with the department
8. All telephone numbers must be reported
9. All employment, volunteer activities, higher education must be documented and changes must be reported.
What if I am a sex offender and I want to move to another state?
If you plan to move to another state, you must meet specific requirements in order to do so. Additionally, be aware that the reporting requirements are more stringent for sexual predator registration. Speak to your local reporting agency for detailed instructions on this process. You will also need to make sure the state you are moving to will accept supervision and you will also need to meet all of their requirements for the transition.
If you are on probation in addition to registration, you must get permission from the probation officer and possibly the judge who ordered your probation.
Can a registered sex offender go to Disney World?
If you are on sex offender probation, a condition of the probation will be no contact with children and no working with children. Because Disney is a children’s theme park, visiting the park would be a violation of probation. However, if you are not on sex offender probation, there is nothing preventing you from going to Disney, except, possibly Disney. Disney World is a private theme park and has been reported to “trespass registered sex offenders.” According to wftv.com, Disney was cracking down on season ticket holders back in 2013 due to “behaviors not meeting Walt Disney’s standards.” According to wftv.com, this language was cited in some of the trespass reports.
How long do you have to be registered as a sex offender in Florida?
If you plead to a sex offense that requires sex offender registration in Florida, you must register for the rest of your life. There are very few options for removal:
- Wrongfully convicted and received post-conviction relief
- Moved to Florida with a designation from another state and that designation was removed
- After 25 years, you may petition the court for removal but with very strict limitations
- You meet the requirements under the Romeo and Juliet law as a youthful offender
How far does a sex offender have to be from a school in Florida?
Generally, the law prevents a sex offender from living within 1000 feet from a school. This includes daycares, playgrounds, and parks where children frequent. There are some local ordinances that may have stricter geographical requirements. Sex offenders should check with their registration agency before planning a move.