Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

People who have been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for qualifying sex crimes may be required to register as sex offenders. When those individual fails to comply with any of the State requirements for sex offenders, it can often result in felony criminal charges. 

Many people who are accused of failing to register as a sex offender are individuals who have recently relocated or who frequently travel for work. Another common cause of alleged violations concerns failure to inform a sheriff’s office of changes to registered information.

Attorney for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Pensacola, FL

Were you recently arrested anywhere in the Florida Panhandle for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender? Do not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact The Law Office of James M. Burns as soon as possible.

Pensacola criminal defense lawyer James M. Burns defends clients accused of sex crimes in communities all over Escambia County, such as Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Perdido Key, Pace, Milton, and Pace, Florida.

Call (850) 457-6002 right now to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


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Overview of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Escambia County


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Florida Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Charges

Registration requirements for sex offenders differ depending on their alleged offenses. Some sex offenders are required to complete a registration form at their county sheriff's office twice a year, but all sexual predators and all juvenile sexual offenders must report four times a year. 

Complete registration obligations for sex offenders are established in Florida Statutes § 775.21 and 943.0435. Both of these statutes also establish certain penalties for alleged failure to register as a sex offender.

A person commits a third-degree felony if he or she:

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.215(2)(b) — Resides within 1,000 feet of any school, child care facility, park, or playground after being convicted of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, sexual performance by a child, prohibited computer transmissions, or selling or buying of minors, regardless of whether adjudication has been withheld, and the alleged offense was classified as a felony of the first degree or higher. If the conviction was a felony of the second or third degree, the alleged violation is a first-degree misdemeanor.

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.215(3)(b) — Resides within 1,000 feet of any school, child care facility, park, or playground after being convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction that is similar to sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, sexual performance by a child, prohibited computer transmissions, or selling or buying of minors, regardless of whether adjudication has been withheld, and the alleged offense was substantially similar to a felony of the first degree or higher. If the conviction was substantially similar to a felony of the second or third degree, the alleged violation is a first-degree misdemeanor.

 

  • Florida Statute § 943.0435(4)(c) — Reports in person to the sheriff’s office of the county in which he or she is located to specify the date upon which he or she intends to or did vacate a permanent, temporary, or transient residence as required under Florida Statute § 943.0435(4)(b) but fails to report in person to the agency to which he or she reported within 48 hours after the date upon which the offender indicated he or she would or did vacate such residence.

 

  • Florida Statute § 943.0435(9)(a) — Failure to immediately register following arrest, service, or arraignment.

 

  • Florida Statute § 943.0435(14)(c)4. — Fails to report in person as required at the sheriff’s office, fails to respond to any address verification correspondence from the department within three weeks of the date of the correspondence, fails to report all electronic mail addresses and all Internet identifiers before use, or knowingly provides false registration information by act or omission.

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.21(10)(a) — Fails to register; fails, after registration, to maintain, acquire, or renew a driver license or an identification card; fails to provide required location information, electronic mail address information before use, Internet identifier information before use, all home telephone numbers and cellular telephone numbers, employment information, change in status at an institution of higher education, or change-of-name information; fails to make a required report in connection with vacating a permanent residence; fails to reregister as required; fails to respond to any address verification correspondence from the department within three weeks of the date of the correspondence; knowingly provides false registration information by act or omission; or otherwise fails, by act or omission, to comply with the requirements of this section.

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.21(10)(b) — Is a sexual predator who has been convicted of or found to have committed, or has pled nolo contendere or guilty to, regardless of adjudication, any violation, or attempted violation, of kidnapping, false imprisonment, or luring or enticing a child, where the alleged victim is a minor; sexual battery, unlawful sexual activity with certain minors; lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age; sexual performance by a child; protection of minors; computer pornography; selling or buying of minors; or prohibited sexual misconduct; or a violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction when the victim of the offense was a minor, and who works, whether for compensation or as a volunteer, at any business, school, child care facility, park, playground, or other place where children regularly congregate.

 

Alleged violations are second-degree felony offenses if the alleged offender:

  • Florida Statute § 943.0435(8) — Reports his or her intent to establish a permanent, temporary, or transient residence in another state, a jurisdiction other than Florida, or another country but remains in Florida without reporting to the sheriff in the manner required.

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.21(6)(g)3. — Is a sexual predator who fails to report in person to the sheriff’s office within 48 hours after the date he or she vacates a permanent, temporary, or transient residence.

 

  • Florida Statute § 775.21(6)(j) — Is a sexual predator who remains in Florida after reporting his or her intent to establish a permanent, temporary, or transient residence in another state, a jurisdiction other than the State of Florida, or another country.

It is also a third-degree felony under both Florida Statute § 943.0435(13) and Florida Statute § 775.21(10)(g) for any person who has reason to believe that a sexual offender is not complying, or has not complied, with his or her requirements and who, with the intent to assist the sexual offender in eluding a law enforcement agency that is seeking to find the sexual offender to question the sexual offender about, or to arrest the sexual offender for, his or her noncompliance with requirements, to do any of the following: 

  • Withhold information from, or not notify, the law enforcement agency about the sexual offender’s noncompliance with the requirements of this section, and, if known, the whereabouts of the sexual offender; 
  • Harbor, or attempt to harbor, or assist another person in harboring or attempting to harbor, the sexual offender; 
  • Conceal or attempt to conceal, or assist another person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sexual offender; or

 

  • Provide information to the law enforcement agency regarding the sexual offender that the person knows to be false information.

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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Penalties in Pensacola

Alleged offenders accused of failing to register as sex offenders can face very severe penalties if convicted. Maximum sentences allowed for convictions in such cases are as follows: 

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $1,000;

 

  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and fine of up to $5,000;

 

  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000;

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Additional Resources

The Florida Standard Jury Instructions  -- state that a juror should find an alleged offender not guilty if he or she proves that the Department of Corrections misinformed him or her or otherwise prevented him or her from registering. Every case is different, and you may have unique defenses applicable to your own case that can help you defeat the criminal charges. 

 

The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) — Originally established in 2005 as the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR), it was renamed by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 in honor of Dru Sjodin, the 22-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota college student who was kidnapped and murdered by a sex offender who was registered in Minnesota. On this website, you can read more about Dru Sjodin’s story and search for sex offenders by name, address, zip code, county, or city or town. You can also view an interactive map of public registry sites and find answers to frequently asked questions.

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The Law Office of James M. Burns | Pensacola Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender anywhere in Escambia County, it would be in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. The Law Office of James M. Burns represents individuals in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Pace, Milton, Perdido Key, and Navarre, Florida.

James M. Burns is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pensacola who will work tirelessly to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (850) 457-6002 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation. 

This article was last updated on Monday, April 2, 2018.