A 67-year-old man who was accused of raping a child under the age of 10 in the 1990s pled guilty to 10 felony charges in Miami County last month. The victim grew up and reported the crime to detectives last year. After being charged, the defendant made a deal so that prosecutors would recommend he spend 10 years in prison in exchange for agreeing to waive consideration of the allegations by a grand jury and pleading to 10 gross sexual imposition charges. The maximum term would be 50-years for the 10 charges.
The judge accepted the pleas, ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing, at which time the defendant’s sex offender classification would be determined. The defendant is being held without bond until sentencing.
Often, those convicted or who plead to sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders in addition to serving jail or prison time and paying monetary fines. After serving the prison sentence, an individual is supposed to initiate registration when their sentence requires them to take such an action. Many people do not register because registration comes with great stigma. You might hope to start over in a new community. However, there can be added penalties for failure to register as a Florida sex offender.
Another common reason that someone might fail to register is that he or she has moved states. However, once you are required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, that requirement follows you from state to state. If the police learn you’ve failed to register as a sex offender in a new state, a warrant for arrest may be issued for failure to register. It is a separate crime not to complete your sex offender registration. On the other hand, if you move to another state, but a warrant has already been issued in Florida, you can still be arrested and face charges.
Under Florida law, sex offenders that are required to register must do so at their local sheriff’s office after establishing residence, whether that residence is temporary, permanent or one of transition. Sex crimes that require registration include child molestation and rape. Registering for sex crimes must occur in person. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement may require that a sex offender register more than once a year, depending on the sex crime. If you are designated a sex predator or you are a juvenile sex offender, you will need to report to the sheriff’s office four times a year.
Registration requires you to provide your name, birth date, race, sex, social security number, height and weight, hair color, eye color, palm prints, fingerprints, passport information, immigration status, residential address, telephone numbers, webpages, and other identifying information. This information may be part of the public record. If you move and you are designated as a sex offender or sexual predator, you’ll need to update your driver’s license within 48 hours of the relocation.
If you don’t comply with a registration requirement, you can be charged with a third-degree felony and face up to 5 years in jail. However, the sentence may be lengthened if you’re found to be a habitual offender. You can also be fined a maximum of $5000 as part of your sentence for failure to register as a sex offender.
If you are charged with a sex crime in Miami, you should be aware that failure to register as a sex offender is a serious crime. Call The Hoffman Law Firm at (305) 928-1669, or contact us via our online form.