Sexual Offender Designation

What is a sex offender?

Florida Statutes Section 943.0435 defines a sex offender as a person who meets the criteria found in the statute AND has been released on or after October 1, 1997 with sanctions having been imposed for any of the above stated offenses.

Additionally, a sex offender is a person who meets one of the following criteria under Florida Statute §943.0435 (h)(1)(b), (c), or (d):

(b) Establishes or maintains a residence in this state and who has not been designated as a sexual predator by a court of this state but who has been designated as a sexual predator, as a sexually violent predator, or by another sexual offender designation in another state or jurisdiction and was, as a result of such designation, subjected to registration or community or public notification, or both, or would be if the person were a resident of that state or jurisdiction, without regard to whether the person otherwise meets the criteria for registration as a sexual offender;

(c) Establishes or maintains a residence in this state who is in the custody or control of, or under the supervision of, any other state or jurisdiction as a result of a conviction for committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the criminal offenses proscribed in the following statutes or similar offense in another jurisdiction OR

(d) On or after July 1, 2007, has been adjudicated delinquent for committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the criminal offenses proscribed in the following statutes in this state or similar offenses in another jurisdiction when the juvenile was 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense:

(I) Section 794.011, excluding s. 794.011(10);

(II) Section 800.04(4)(a)2. where the victim is under 12 years of age or where the court finds sexual activity by the use of force or coercion;

(III) Section 800.04(5)(c)1. where the court finds molestation involving unclothed genitals;

(IV) Section 800.04(5)(d) where the court finds the use of force or coercion and unclothed genitals; or

(V) Any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former statute number to one of those listed in this sub-subparagraph.

I am a sex offender, what are my registration requirements?

If you have been designated a sex offender, you will have to register with the state of Florida as a sex offender. There are numerous registration requirements under the law that are set forth in Florida Statute 943.0435. For more information, please refer to our Sex Offender Registration Requirements page or check with your probation officer or local law enforcement agency. 

Can a sex offender vacation in Florida?

Although an individual who is required to register as a sex offender in a state other than Florida MAY visit Florida, you are required to register if you come to Florida. You must follow state and local resident restriction laws when they apply.  Sex offenders have 5 days to check in and will be placed on the Florida sex offender registry website. The address where the registered sex offender is visiting must be verified by local law enforcement.

According to the US Department of Justice has determined that Florida has substantially implemented Title I of the Adam Walsh Act also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  Part of the compliance with SORNA is the updating and exchanging of information regarding sex offenders. SORNA requires that updates regarding sex offenders be exchanged with all jurisdictions where the offender is required to register. 

If you live in Florida and plan to move to another state, appropriate jurisdictions will be notified.

If you live in the state of Florida and intend to change your address to a location outside of the United States, Florida (along with any other state who is in compliance with SORNA) will notify INTERPOL.

Registered sex offenders in Florida and other state should consult their local registration offices as well as the registration office where they anticipate traveling well before their travel date to avoid any confusion. Every state is different and within every state, local rules vary, especially regarding residency requirements.

Can you travel as a sex offender?

See above answer. Again, this will depend on where you are traveling. Always check with your local registration requirements as well as the requirements of the place you intend to travel. Additionally, probation is a completely different ball game. If you are on sex offender probation in the state of Florida, you will need permission from your probation officer who may require permission from your sentencing judge.

Can registered sex offenders stay in hotels?

In November 2017, House Bill 773 was filed. The purpose of the bill was to require vacation rentals to inquire whether the renter is a sex offender, notify other renters of the sex offender status, and comply with various notification requirements.  The bill was indefinitely postponed according to and has since died.

Assuming the sex offender otherwise complies with geographic limitations, he or she may stay in a hotel. In other words, if the hotel is next to a school or daycare, any geographic limitations regarding children congregating would prevent the stay.

What is the difference between sex offender registration and sex offender probation?

Sex offender registration is a statewide requirement for certain sex offenses and usually lasts forever with few limited exceptions. The penalties for not registering can be severe. If a sex offender fails to register, he or she will face a new felony charge of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.  Failure to Register as a Sex Offender is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  If someone is on sex offender probation at the time of failing to register, not only can he face a new charge, but would also be facing a violation of probation.

Sex offender probation is ordered by the courts and will have a termination date.  The conditions of probation must be satisfied during the probationary term and the individual may not commit any new law violations while on probation. The failure to satisfy the terms and conditions of sex offender probation will result in a violation of probation and potential prison time. The Florida Legislature sets out minimum standard requirements for sex offender probation that are imposed for certain sex cases regardless of whether the abiding court verbally announces the condition. The conditions are minimum and set forth in legislation, much like DUI minimum standard conditions. Different conditions for a DUI of course, but both have standard minimums conditions that must be met regardless of what the court orders.

What is the difference between a sex offender and a sex predator?

Sex offenders and sex predators are both required to register with the state of Florida. Sexual predators are defined differently in the state of Florida and are considered to be the more serious of the two.  Someone will be classified as a sexual predator if he or she has been convicted of at least one first degree felony sexual misconduct charge or two second degree sexual misconduct charges.  Sexual predators have stricter registration requirements.

*Note- We do not handle cases that originated outside the State of Florida 

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