What are ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws in Florida?

If you are asking the question posed in this headline, you might already be accused of serious criminal sexual misconduct. Alternatively, you might want to know a little bit more about the laws before you do something that could potentially destroy your freedom and your future.

In either case, you should understand that yes, there is such a thing as a Romeo and Juliet law in Florida, but it only applies to specific people in specific situations. In this post, we will take a brief look at this law and what it means for Florida residents.

Basically, speaking, the so-called Romeo and Juliet law is a Florida statute that allows certain people who are identified as a sexual offender or predator to be relieved of the requirement to register as such.

The requirement to register as a sex offender or predator is often considered to be an especially harsh penalty. In accordance with this requirement, a person is publicly identified as a sex offender and prohibited from certain locations and behaviors, often for the rest of their lives. Such a requirement can make it impossible to lead a normal life and move past an offense, despite having completed the other requirements of a criminal offense.

Getting off this list can be extraordinarily challenging. However, it is possible under Romeo and Juliet laws.

In order to be considered for removal under this statute, a person must be no more than four years older than the minor with whom they were sexually involved. The minor must have been at least 13 at the time of the incident but younger than 18, and the sexual activity must have been consensual. Further, the person seeking removal from the registry must have no other sexually-related offenses on their record.

It should be noted that even if you meet this criteria, it can still be enormously complicated to seek removal from the sex offender registry. While this can be a good option for people who have already been convicted or adjudicated of a sex offense, the more favorable option would be to avoid the registration requirement from the beginning.

Working with an attorney to defend yourself against sexual misconduct allegations can be crucial in protecting your future and limiting your exposure to the often-severe penalties that come with being convicted of a sex crime in Florida.