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Man arrested for failing to register Facebook account

The requirement to register as a sex offender in Florida can be a devastating to a person's family, career and reputation. It is a punishment that can affect someone's life long after they have served a sentence for sexual crime, and it can be very difficult to get past a serious mistake when a person is on this list.

Registering as a sex offender can require people to provide authorities with certain information on an ongoing basis, such as contact information when they move. If someone fails or forgets to notify authorities of these changes, he or she could be facing some additional penalties that can be very serious, even if the violation itself does not seem that serious. For example, one man in another state is now facing charges after he failed to notify authorities that he had a Facebook account.

The man was convicted of disseminating indecent materials to minors in 2011. Since then, he has been required to register as a sex offender and has apparently been compliant. However, an investigation by computer crime and special victim agencies revealed that the man had an active Facebook account, which he neglected to tell authorities.

Registered sex offenders may be required to comply with many rules as a condition of their release, one of which might be to stay off online social networking sites. They may even be prohibited from owning a personal computer. The reason for this is to keep them from communicating with people they should not be talking to and limit their access to certain individuals.

The requirements of registering as a sex offender are strict and very limiting. They can dictate where people live, what jobs they can have and what they allowed to do in their free time. Complying with all these guidelines can be difficult, confusing and frustrating so it is not uncommon for a person to be charged with a violation. Those who are in this situation may want to consider speaking with an attorney in order to defend themselves and minimize their exposure to harsh penalties.

Source: Smithtown Patch, "Police: Lake Ronkonkoma Sex Offender Didn't Report Facebook Account," Ryan Bonner, April 1, 2014

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