Of all the consequences that are associated with a criminal conviction, being required to register as a sex offender is one of the most devastating. Prison sentences can be bad enough to seriously damage a person's future, career or family, but people who are also required to register as a sex offender can find it all but impossible to move on from a conviction when they have to regularly comply with sex offender registry requirements.
Being a registered sex offender often involves much more than simply checking in with law enforcement agents after moving or being released from a correctional facility. Depending on the nature of a crime for which a person has been convicted or found delinquent, a sexual offender or predator will need to re-register two or four times every year unless or until the requirement to register is lifted or expires.
What this means is that at least once every six months, a person will need to appear in person before county authorities and confirm or update certain information.
This information can include home addresses, vehicles that a person drives, changes to physical appearance, Internet identifiers, as well as employment or school information. While this is also some of the information that is already provided when a person initially registers as a sex offender, Florida laws require that this information is kept current through regular re-registration.
Having to go to the authorities every few months and repeatedly provide extensive information on what you are doing and where you go can make it extraordinarily difficult to move on after being convicted of a sex crime. It can also be very complicated to understand when you must re-register and how long you have to report any changes to authorities. This is why many people on the list of registered sex offenders end up facing additional penalties for non-compliance.
All this can prove to be very frightening and stressful for a person who is at risk of being convicted of a sexual offense or is required to register as a sex offender. If you or a loved one is in this situation, it may be wise to speak with an attorney in order to learn about how you may be able to defend against charges, reduce a sentence or avoid additional penalties for violating the requirements to register and re-register as a sex offender.