Miscellaneous sex crimes of Florida
Disclaimer: This page is not intended as legal advice. It is provided to give you basic information to use as a starting point in discussions with your attorney.
There are some sex crimes in Florida that do not fit neatly into a specific category. But the legislature has enacted laws to govern them just the same. These laws are in place to keep the community safe and informed. These crimes govern the control of victim information, and the places where offenders may live after a conviction or release from jail.
LAWS GOVERNING VICTIM INFORMATION
Florida has many open records laws. But when it comes to releasing the names of individuals who have been the victims of domestic or sexual assault, the laws are in place to protect them. Having that type of assault to your person can be embarrassing and the victim may not want to discuss it or have people know what occurred. It is also a safeguard to keep crime victims from undue influence or threats.
What type of release is unlawful?
Florida statute 794.03 makes it a crime to publish or broadcast information identifying a sexual offense victim. This applies regardless of the individual’s age unless the court determines that such information is no longer confidential.
Florida statute 794.024 makes it illegal for a public employee or officer who has access to the photograph, name, or address of a person who is alleged to be the victim of a qualifying offense to willfully and knowingly disclose it to a person who is not
- assisting in prosecution of the individual or
- representing the Defendant as the attorney of record or
- authorized by the Court to receive the information or
- to a rape crisis counselor
Violation of either of these statutes is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail.
This type of accusation could lead to more than criminal charges. It could lead to disciplinary action or loss of a job. If you are accused of this crime call an attorney to discuss your options.
At Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins we understand this delicate situation. Our attorneys are discreet and dependable. Call us now at 1-888-424-7777 to speak with our defense team.
DUTY TO REPORT
In order to protect others from becoming victims, the State of Florida statute 794.02 states that states you must report a sexual battery in progress if you:
- Have reasonable grounds to believe that you observed the commission of a sexual battery;
- Have the present ability to seek assistance for the victim or victims by immediately reporting such offense to a law enforcement officer;
- Would not be exposed to any threat of physical violence for seeking such assistance;
- Are not the husband, wife, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister of the offender or victim; and
- Are not the victim of such sexual battery
This means unless you are the victim, or a close family member of one of the parties involved in the sexual battery you have to report the crime to law enforcement as long as you won’t be harmed physically by doing so. Failure to report the sexual battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Many people do not want to get involved in crimes. Either participating in them or telling law enforcement about what they saw. If you have witnessed a sexual battery and have not reported it and are worried about the consequences, contact an attorney immediately!! The attorneys of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins are willing to fight for you when you call 1-888-424-7777. Call us now- let us help you!
RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR SEXUAL OFFENDERS
The government has enacted strict registration and monitoring requirements for individuals who have been found guilty or pled “no contest” or guilty to a sex crime that involves a minor under the age of 16. These requirements stay in effect after the sentence or probationary period is completed. These conditions remain in effect for your entire life!!
Under Florida statute 775.215 if you are convicted of a crime that involves some type of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, and the offense occurred on or after October 1, 2004, you are restricted in the following ways:
You may not reside within 1,000 feet of any:
School – “School” means an organization of students for instructional purposes on an elementary, middle or junior high school, secondary or high school, or other public school level authorized under rules of the State Board of Education.
Child care facility – “Child care facility” includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides child care for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit.
Park – “Park” means all public and private property specifically designated as being used for recreational purposes and where children regularly congregate.
Playground – “Playground” means a designated independent area in the community or neighborhood that is designated solely for children and has one or more play structures.
What if I do?
If you violate these living restrictions, and your original charge was classified as a capital, life or first degree felony, your charge will be punishable as a third degree felony and you can face up to five years in prison.
If you violate these living restrictions, and your original charge was classified as a felony of the second or third degree, your case will be charged as a first degree misdemeanor which I punishable by up to one year in the county jail.
What if I have a home and the school, park, daycare, or playground is built after I obtain my residence?
Under Florida statute 775.215 (2)(a), “. . .a person does not violate this subsection and may not be forced to relocate if he or she is living in a residence that meets the requirements of this subsection and a school, child care facility, park, or playground is subsequently established within 1,000 feet of his or her residence.”
This means if you are living in a place that met the requirement, and the school, park, daycare or playground is built after you have established a residence there, you don’t have to move and you won’t be charged with a crime for not moving.
How is the 1000 feet measured?
This is a good question. There is debate about whether the 1000 feet is door to door, whether it is from the edge of a property to the other edge of a property, whether it is measured literally across yards or lots or whether it must be measured by street or sidewalk. Depending on the law enforcement in your area, you may get a different answer. It is best to consult with an attorney to determine if the home you are considering may be in violation.
If I can’t live near a park, school, daycare or playground, can I volunteer to help at one of these locations? Can I accept a job at these locations?
No. Under the statute, if you are designated a sexual predator, you cannot work or volunteer in these areas. To do so is a felony of the third degree punishable by five years in prison.
What if I have charges from another state?
If your charge occurred on or after May 26, 2010, these restrictions still apply to you even if the crime occurred in a different jurisdiction than Florida.
If you have sex offense charges from another state, consult an attorney to determine if the offense was similar enough to the Florida law to consider you an offender under the statute and subject you to residency requirements.
What if my designation was legally removed?
Then this statute does not apply. But discuss with an attorney whether your designation was actually removed in a way that applies under the statute.
Residency requirements are complicated and difficult. In some cities, there is no location that is outside 1000 feet of a park or school. If you are an offender who is subject to these restrictions, contact an attorney to discuss the restrictions and your possible options. At Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins we are familiar with these problems and that places us in the best position to assist you. Call and speak with our qualified defense team now at 1-888-424-7777. Attorneys are always available to take your call.
REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SEXUAL OFFENDERS
If you are designated a sexual predator under the statute, you must report your information to local law enforcement. The information you must provide is:
- location information such as your address and place of employment,
- electronic mail address information,
- instant message name information,
- home telephone number and any cellular telephone number,
- change-of-name information;
- your car or motor home tag and VIN information
- where you are attending school
- you must update your information every time you move
- you must keep an up to date driver’s license or ID card with proper information
- and you must respond to any address verification correspondence from the department within 3 weeks of the date of the correspondence;
If you fail to do so it is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Where would I be prosecuted?
You can be prosecuted in several different jurisdictions if you fail to register. Under Florida statute 775.21(10(d) A sexual predator who fails to properly register may be prosecuted:
- in the county in which the act or omission was committed; or
- the county of the last registered address of the sexual predator; or
- the county in which the conviction occurred for the offense or offenses that meet the criteria for designating a person as a sexual predator.
- In addition, a sexual predator may be prosecuted for failing to register in the county in which he or she was designated a sexual predator.
This means you can be prosecuted almost anywhere for this crime.
What if I register after my arrest? Will it help?
Not really. If you do not register after your arrest you can be charged with another count of failing to register. In addition the statute specifically states that “Registration following . . . arrest. . . is not a defense and does not relieve the sexual predator of criminal liability for the failure to register.” But it may help with sentencing.
What if I help an offender who is non-compliant?
Sometimes law enforcement will look for offenders who are non-compliant with the registration requirements. Sometimes people help them to avoid the registration. There is a provision of the statute that applies to this type of behavior. Under the statute it is a crime if you or another:
- Withholds information from, or does not notify, the law enforcement agency about the sexual predator’s noncompliance with the requirements of this section, and, if known, the whereabouts of the sexual predator;
- Harbors, or attempts to harbor, or assists another person in harboring or attempting to harbor, the sexual predator;
- Conceals or attempts to conceal, or assists another person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sexual predator; or
- Provides information to the law enforcement agency regarding the sexual predator which the person knows to be false information,
… in an attempt to assist the offender in avoiding registration requirements. If you do, you face a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Many family members and close friends of sexual predators will try to avoid giving this type of information thinking they’re helping out. But it is a crime and it can get you and the offender into even more trouble than expected. So it is best to consult an attorney if you think there is a problem. At Finenbloom, Haenel & Higgins we don’t judge. Call us for a consultation 24/7 at 1-888-424-7777. Let our understanding and practiced attorney team assist you with your unique situation.
Possession of erectile dysfunction drugs by sexual predators
Under the law, it is illegal for a person designated a sexual predator to possess a prescription drug for the purpose of treating erectile dysfunction. This is true even if it is recommended and prescribed by a physician.
Violating this law the first time commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. A person who violates a provision of this section a second or subsequent time commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by one year in jail.
Any of these crimes can lead to time in jail, loss of job and embarrassing consequences. If you are facing charges for any of these offenses, contact an experienced and dependable attorney at once. Only an experienced attorney can assist you with a dedicated defense.
Many attorneys will not assist sexual offenders. But at Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins we believe jusitice and quality representation should be available to all. Call us now at 1-888-424-7777 and let our team fight your case for you today!