People who have been convicted of a sex crime may face some of the most difficult challenges of any criminal offender after they have completed their sentences. Unlike people convicted of drug offenses, theft or even violent crimes, men and women convicted of sexual misconduct often are required to register as a sex offender; and they may be required to do so for the rest of their lives.
The requirement to register as a sex offender in Florida can be devastating to a person's reputation and family. It can affect where a person lives and what kind job they can find, and being a registered sex offender can make it nearly impossible to re-engage in a community. This can be the case whether people have been convicted of possessing child pornography or they had a consensual relationship with a minor just a year or two younger than they were. The consequences of a conviction can follow a person around for the rest of his or her life, and if a bill that was recently proposed is passed in Florida, these consequences could get even worse for people who try to escape the situation.
The legislative action was proposed in response to issues that authorities have had when it comes to keeping track of sex offenders who are released from jail in Florida. Lawmakers argue that stricter enforcement is needed to monitor offenders and take action if someone manages to elude the authorities.
According to reports, there have been multiple instances of sex offenders failing to update their information with the state, moving without notifying anyone or simply taking off a monitoring device without permission. The proposed bill would result in the creation of a special task force focused on locating sex offenders who fail to comply with the rules set as a condition of their release from prison.
This is just one example of how aggressive authorities are when dealing with sexual offenders. Even after they have served their time and completed their sentences, they are still targeted by authorities. That is why it can be crucial to avoid a conviction for a sex crime. With the help of an attorney, people who are under investigation or have been charged with sexual misconduct can defend themselves against charges and work to minimize exposure to punishment.
Source: WCTV, "Florida Bill Cracking Down On Sex Offenders," James Buechele, March 10, 2014