Being convicted of a sex offense can be ruinous. Not only could it result in serious jail time and financial penalties, but it could also mean being required to register as a sex offender. The stigma of being a registered sex offender can follow a person for the rest of his or her life.
Because of this, figuring out how to get off the registry is a top priority for most people. However, it is not an option for everyone. As this article explains, there are certain classifications of offenders who will have to register for the rest of their lives. Others, however, do have the option to pursue removal of the requirement.
In Florida, we comply with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. This means that when a person is convicted of a sex offense, he or she will be categorized into one of three tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3.
Generally speaking, people convicted of the most serious offenses will be classified as Tier 3 offenders and will be required to register as a sex offender for life. However, those in the lower tiers are eligible to be removed from the list after 25 years for Tier 2 offenders or after 10 years for Tier 1 offenders, but they can only do so if they file a petition and have not committed another offense.
There are other ways to have the requirement to register removed, though they can be more complicated and are not always possible. If, for example, the original conviction is overturned, a person will not have to register as a sex offender. If efforts to expunge a criminal record are successful, then it can be possible to be removed from the list in some states.
However, the rules and procedures for removal vary by state. Just because a person may have gotten off the list in one state does not mean that he or she will not have re-register in another if he or she moves.
In order to understand your options for removal, you need to discuss the specific details of your offense and conviction and determine whether you meet eligibility requirements with the help of an attorney.