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Sex Offender Probation in Florida Comes With Certain Mandatory Restrictions

There are several crimes in Florida where, if you are convicted, the judge is required to place you on sex offender probation. For other crimes, the judge normally has discretion whether to put a defendant on probation and if he/she does, the judge has discretion as to which terms of probation to impose.

That is not the case with certain sex crimes and sex offender probation in Florida. If a defendant pleads guilty or no contest to one of the relevant sex crimes or is found guilty after a trial, the judge must sentence the defendant to sex offender probation. As part of that probation, the judge must impose certain terms such as a curfew, a requirement that the defendant not live within 1,000 feet of where children congregate, to have no contact with children except under certain circumstances, to enter into and complete a sex offender treatment program, to submit DNA, to comply with certain internet restrictions, to take annual polygraph tests and other requirements. Since sex offender probation is so restrictive, and the penalties for a violation of sex offender probation are so serious, a defendant should make sure he/she understands exactly what he/she is doing before resolving the sex case with a plea or trial.