If you are required to register as a sex offender in Broward County, you should be aware that any discrepancies in your information or failure to register can trigger an investigation. Recently, a Florida man who was already a registered sex offender was charged with a federal criminal complaint of soliciting child pornography over the Internet. The county case was closed. Investigators claimed that a detective looking over the man’s sex offender registration information found that his Facebook account was not in his true name. Accordingly, a detective sent him a friend request, in which he pretended to be a 13-year old girl.
The man and the detective pretending to be a child engaged in multiple online conversations. Eventually, the man raised sexual activity and suggested that they meet to have sex. He again asked the detective posing as a child to meet up in person and transmitted a sexual photo a few days later. He later asked the person he believed to be a child to send him a picture of her genitals. Soon after he was arrested. In 1994, he was convicted of aggravated indecent assault in another state and his sentence required him to register as a sex offender.
If you are required to register as a sex offender as part of your sentence for a sex crime and don’t do so within 48 hours after initial release or after moving to a new location, you can be convicted of a third-degree felony. You are required to update any changes to your identifying information within 48 hours of the change. The sentence may involve a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine. Sex crimes that may result you being required to register as a sex offender as part of your sentence include human trafficking, false imprisonment if the victim is a minor and you are not her parent, kidnapping when the victim is a minor and you are the parent or guardian of the victim, and luring or enticing a child. You may be regarded as a sexual predator under Florida Statute 775.21 if you are convicted of a violent sexual offense.
Information you are required to give to the sheriff’s office initially and update when changed includes your name, birth date, sex, race, social security number, weight, height, eye color, hair color, identifying marks, fingerprints, palm prints, photograph, job, residential address even if it’s temporary, vehicle description, VIN, phone numbers, email addresses, professional licenses, immigration status, and job or institution of higher learning.
To convict you of failure to initially register, the prosecutor will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) are a sex offender or stipulated to be convicted as such, (2) kept or started a transient, temporary, or permanent residence in a Florida county, and (3) knowingly failed to register within 48 hours as required or knowingly failed to report in person to the sheriff’s office within 48 hours of release from supervision or custody of the Florida Department of Corrections, or knowingly failed to register within 48 hours after a conviction that entailed a sentence requiring you to register, or knowingly failed to give the sheriff any required information.
Failure to register as a sex offender, or failing to properly update your information as required, is a serious crime that comes with harsh penalties. If there is an incongruence in your information, it could trigger an investigation.