In Florida, if a person is convicted of certain sex crimes involving minors, that person is required by law to become a sex offender which means that he/she must comply with the sex offender registration requirements and other rules for the rest of his/her life. These are very burdensome and distressing requirements that typically do not go away. In a criminal case involving sexual conduct with a minor, everything is negotiable, and it is possible to reach a resolution that eliminates the sex offender label with an adjusted criminal charge. However, this stipulation is often a deal-breaker with prosecutors in all but the most minor cases.
We get a lot of calls from people who have been sentenced as sex offenders and want to try and remove the sex offender status. This is unlikely to happen. However, the Florida legislature did add an exception to the sex offender requirement for the applicable consensual sex crimes involving a minor. Under the law, a person may be eligible to have the sex offender or sexual predator status removed if the person has just one qualifying sex crime (whether he/she was convicted or adjudication of guilt was withheld), the sex offender or predator registration requirement is necessary solely based on that one case, the person was not more than four years older than the victim of the crime and the victim was between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the crime.
If the person meets these requirements, he/she can file a motion with the court to remove the requirement that the person register as a sex offender or sexual predator. At that point, it is up to the judge to determine if the requirement will actually be removed. But keep in mind that the court will likely strictly interpret the four year age difference requirement. In a recent case near Jacksonville, Florida, a person met all of the requirements for the sex offender exception above except he was four years and three months older than the victim. Because he was more than four years older than the victim, the court denied his motion to remove the sex offender registration requirement.
If you have been convicted or sentenced for a sex crime that requires registering as a sex offender or sexual predator and meet the eligibility requirements discussed above, feel free to contact us for a free consultation to see if the sex offender or sexual predator registration requirement can be removed in your case.