Good Article Discussing the Laws Punishing Sex Offenders

The article linked here discusses the various laws addressing sex crimes and dealing with sex offenders and the people who are required to register as a sex offender. The article makes several good points. One point is that the laws punishing “sex offenders” and the laws labeling someone a “sex offender” triggering the sex offender registration requirement are too broad. As a result, given the limited resources of the police and prosecutors, it makes it more difficult for them to monitor and focus on the truly dangerous sex offenders. For instance, the article notes that in some states, sex offenders include a woman who had oral sex with another guy decades ago when she was 17 and the boy was a couple of weeks shy of his 16th birthday, and they were in the same high school class. In other states, people were considered sex offenders for soliciting prostitutes, urinating in public and having consensual sex with a teenagers when they were teenagers themselves. As the article mentions, part of the problem is that when a sex offender law is proposed, even when it is over-reaching and includes people doing things that are far less serious than what one would normally consider a sex offense, it is always unpopular for politicians to vote against such laws. It is always popular with constituents to be tough on sex crimes, and no politician wants to risk being called soft on child molesters, even if he/she merely thinks a proposed law is too harsh on a 17 year old who has consensual sex with 15 year old. However, the best approach to sex crimes and sex offenders is to be tough but smart. Categorizing people as sex offenders who clearly do not deserve the label does not do anyone any good.

Florida has strict laws addressing what sexual conduct between people is considered a crime, some of which address sexual conduct between young people pretty close in age. Florida also has strict laws about when, where and how a person is required to register a sex offender, whether he/she is a resident of Florida or just a visitor. If you have questions about the laws dealing with sexual battery, registering as a sex offender and other sex crimes, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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