The Florida legislature writes and passes many laws designed to protect the general public. Those laws pertaining to protecting children in particular require certain sexual predators to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. According to Florida law, a sexual predator is anyone convicted of a capital, life, or first degree felony violation against a minor, or a felony violation or attempted violation of a sexual nature against a child (on or after October 1, 1993). For a full list of felonies, see the Florida Senate website. A sexual predator also includes any civilian who knowingly transmits or receives child pornography. If you are a sexual predator who permanently lives in Florida, you must be registered under the law.

What Does Law Enforcement Need?

If you're required to register, visit your local sheriff's office to fill out a registration form. This visit occurs either twice a year or four times a year, depending on the offense committed. The registration form can include identifying information, such as race, sex, height, weight, hair color, eye color, tattoos, and visible scars. They will also ask for your name, birth date, Social Security number, fingerprints, palm prints, photograph, current place of employment, vehicle information, phone numbers, conviction information, passport information, immigration status and documentation, and any professional license information.

You must also report to your local sheriff's office 4 times a year. If you move at any time, you must update your driver's license or ID card within 48 hours. Similarly, if you change your name, you must update your driver's license within the same amount of time.

How Long Will I Be Registered as a Sex Offender?

Sex offender registration is for life, meaning you will have to update your registration for as long as you live in Florida or until your death. If you move out of state, check with state laws at your new place of residence to ensure you don't violate any registration laws. All states require sexual predator registration, but its duration varies by state. If you're a registered sex offender who would like to merely visit Florida, you must still register with the local sheriff's office within 48 hours of arrival.

Laws regarding registration are confusing, particularly as they vary across state lines. If you're unsure of your status as a sex offender, or you need help understanding Florida registration laws, contact one of our Florida sex crime defense attorneys at Musca Law at (888) 484-5057 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.