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Florida Sex Offenders Must Register With New Permanent or Temporary Address

There are certain crimes in Florida that require the defendant to register as a sex offender for the rest of his/her life after a conviction. This sex offender status confers fairly rigid requirements on a person, and failure to comply can lead to an additional serious felony criminal charge in Florida. For instance, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will likely send an annual letter to a person’s registered address asking the person to verify that he/she still resides there. If the letter is not answered in time, the police may come looking for that person. If the police determine that the person has changed his/her address, permanently or temporarily, without notifying the proper authorities, that person will likely face a new third degree felony charge.

Under the Florida career sex offender law, a person must register with the Department of Corrections within two days of establishing a permanent or temporary residence. The definition of a permanent residence might sound a lot like a temporary residence. A permanent residence is a place where the person “abides, lodges or resides” for 14 or more consecutive days. A temporary residence will include any trip of four days or more or just about any series of trips to the same location. A temporary residence is defined under the Florida criminal laws as a place where the person “abides, lodges or resides” for 14 days in the aggregate in any calendar year that is not his/her permanent residence or a place where the person “routinely abides, lodges or resides” for a period of 4 or more consecutive days or nonconsecutive days in any month which is not his/her permanent address. For example, if a person likes to visit a friend at the same location one weekend each month, that would qualify as a temporary residence and need to be reported.

Any time the person changes or establishes a permanent or temporary residence under the Florida law definitions above, he/she needs to report that information to a Florida driver’s license office within two business days.

The residency definitions are very strict in terms of reporting. If a person goes on vacation for four days, technically, he/she has to report that address as a temporary residence. Basically, any time a person visits the same location for four consecutive days or spends four or more separate days at a particular location in a month, the safe thing to do is to follow the reporting requirements in order to avoid the additional felony charge.