Removal of the Requirement to Register as a Sexual Offender or Sexual Predator in Special Circumstances
Most sex offenders and sexual predators are required to register as such for life, unless they have received a full pardon or the conviction has been set aside. However, there is also a way to get the requirement removed under special circumstances. It is important to retain an attorney if you are interested in the potential removal of the requirement to register as a sex offender. Will Hanlon is an experienced Clearwater sex crime attorney who may be able to advise you and petition the court for removal on your behalf.Removal of the Sex Offender Registration Mandate
You may be required to register as a sex offender or sexual predator for certain sex crimes. Many of these involve a minor. Sex offender or sexual predator registration can make life very difficult for the person required to register. Owners of apartments may no longer wish to rent to them. They cannot live near schools or parks. They may lose a professional license or be unable to work in certain jobs. They may lose family relationships or romantic opportunities. However, certain people can ask the court to lift the registration requirement under Florida Statutes section 943.04354.
The court can consider you for removal if you were convicted of a lewd or lascivious crime, computer pornography, sexual performance by a child, or a similar crime elsewhere. However, the registration requirement must be based only on that conviction, rather than on multiple similar sex crime convictions, such as convictions for sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses, child pornography, or other similar crimes. Additionally, you cannot be more than four years older than the victim, who must have been 14-17 at the time of the crime. The requirements are stringent. For example, if you were convicted twice of molesting 14-year-olds at age 19 and age 20, you could not petition for removal.
Even if you are eligible to petition, you cannot assume that the registration requirement will be lifted. The criminal division of the circuit court where the conviction happened has discretion over your case. Your petition will need to represent that you meet the criteria and that there is no conflict between removing the registration requirement and federal law. If the conviction was in another jurisdiction, you need to provide in writing confirmation that you do not need to register in the jurisdiction where you were previously convicted.
The petition must be provided with 21 days’ notice to the state attorney. The state attorney is permitted to provide evidence opposing your request and showing why the court should not lift the registration requirement. If the state attorney is successful, and your request is denied, you cannot file another petition to remove the registration requirement. This makes it especially important to secure the services of an experienced and skillful trial attorney when you decide that you want to petition, and for the underlying charge itself. You should not assume that the registration requirement will automatically be lifted because you meet the basic requirements.
You will need to give the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) a certified copy of the order on your petition to remove the registration requirement. The FDLE will then need to remove all of your information from the public registry. The public can still have access to your criminal records indicating the sex crime conviction.Seek Counsel from a Sex Crime Lawyer in Clearwater
The removal of the requirement that a person convicted of certain sex crimes register as a sex offender is also called the Romeo and Juliet law. You cannot get yourself removed if you have been designated as a sexual predator, and the criteria for removal are strict. Since the court has discretion over the decision to remove this requirement, you should seek out the services of an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney once you decide to petition for removal of the requirement to register as a sexual offender in special circumstances. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation in Clearwater since 1994 and may be able to help. Call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.