In 1997, Florida became the first state to list sex offenders on the Internet, and to make that same information available through a hotline to those without Internet access. Florida law requires sexual offenders to register and to report to the Sheriff’s Office in the county in which they reside either two or four times per year, depending on their convictions. Florida requires more than an address registration. Offenders are even required to report e-mail address and instant message names to the Sheriff’s office. The months that an offender is required to check-in with the Sheriff’s Office are based upon the offender’s birth month. Failure to submit to the sex offender restrictions and provide all of the information required can have stiff penalties and is classified as a felony. Florida divides those convicted of a sex based crimes into two different categories: sexual predator and sexual offender.
Under Florida law, not all sex offenders are considered sexual predators. In order to be considered a sexual predator, the offender must be designated as such by a court. Even if you are convicted of a sex-based crime, you are not automatically designated a sexual predator. Florida law provides three different ways to be classified as a sexual predator. First, if you are convicted of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious behavior in the presence of a person less than 16 years old, or selling or buying child pornography, then you may be considered a sexual predator after just this one conviction. It is important to note that the conviction may occur in Florida or any other jurisdiction.
You may also be designated as a sexual predator if you commit one of the previously mentioned offenses, and you have been found guilty of committing other sexual offenses previously. The previous offenses that may lead to a sexual predator designation include kidnapping, false imprisonment, luring or enticing a child, sexual battery, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, procuring persons under age 18 for prostitution, or sexual performances by a child.
Finally, a person may be labeled a sexual predator if it has been determined that they are a sexually violent predator pursuant to a civil commitment proceeding.
Florida law provides several ways for a court to designate a person as a sexual offender. First, if you commit or attempt to commit kidnapping a minor, false imprisonment of a minor, luring or enticing a child, sexual battery, unlawful sexual acts with a minor, procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, selling or buying minors into sex trafficking, sexual performance by a child, computer pornography or sexual misconduct.
Second, even a conviction in another jurisdiction can lead to sex offender status in Florida. Florida law allows a court to designate a person as a sexual offender if they have been designated as a sexual offender in another state or jurisdiction and are required to register their sex offender status.
Finally, a person may be designated a sexual offender under Florida law if they commit or attempt to commit, on a juvenile 14 years of age or older, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious battery, or lewd and lascivious molestation.