Florida has a number of Sex Offenses. Some are major like a sexual battery (aka rape), and some can be considered more minor like underage sex. Other sex crimes like traveling to meet a minor for sex are setup by law enforcement with a fictitious victim, and don’t even actually have a victim (this is like Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator”). However they all have one thing in common. They have severe collateral consequences.
Registering as a Sex Offender
In the State of Florida if you are convicted of a sex offense you will be required to register with the local sheriff’s office and the DMV twice a year, as well as when you move. A failure to register as a Sex Offender could potentially result in a felony charge for failing to register. While this might seem like a minor crime (especially if you registered with one of the agencies) it scores prison time, even for a defendant with no previous criminal history.
If you are a sex offender and are sent to prison for a crime, right before you are released you can be forced to undergo an evaluation to see if you are likely to reoffend due to some condition. If the court finds you are likely to reoffend due to a condition then the court can civilly detain you even after you have been sentenced, and make you undergo treatment. The court can detain the defendant indefinitely until it believes the defendant’s condition no long makes him likely to commit another sex offense.
Many municipalities in Florida have passed a rule where defendant’s are not allowed to live within 2,500 feet of places that children frequent. The legal world has acknowledged that this has severely limited the places where sex offenders can live.