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Do Sex Offenders Moving to Florida Need to Register

Any person that resides in the state of Florida and who has been designated a sexual predator, violent sexual predator or any other sexual offender designation in another state or jurisdiction where they were required to register must then register as a sexual offender in the state of Florida.

It is important to note that a new Florida resident still cannot be designated a sexual predator without a court proceeding. If an offender begins to reside in Florida, and has convictions that are similar to Florida’s sexual predator criteria offenses, then the state attorney in the offender’s jurisdiction will begin a court hearing. The hearing will review the out-of-state offenses to determine whether the offender should be classified as a sexual predator under Florida law. Florida law states that an offender convicted of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious behavior in the presence of a person less than 16 years old, or selling or buying child pornography may be designated a sexual predator.

If a person lives in another state, but works or attends school in Florida, similar reporting requirements exist. The sexual offender must register their work or school address as a temporary address within 48 hours of beginning work or school. The offender must register in person at the Sheriff’s Office in the county where they are working or attending school.

When registering for the first time, an offender is expected to provide a significant amount of information to the Sheriff’s Office. The information required includes:

  • Name
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Tattoos or identifying marks
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Addresses
  • Date and place of employment
  • Fingerprints
  • Date, place and description of each crime convicted of
  • Any e-mail address
  • Any instant message name

If an offender’s address changes, the offender must notify the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The DMHSMV will then notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the change. Then the FDLE will inform the local Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement about the new sex offender in their jurisdiction. The offender is still required to report to the Sheriff’s Office closest to their new residence, and failure to do so is a felony.

Once an offender registers with the Sheriff’s Office, they are required to re-register on a set recurring basis. A sexual predator or juvenile sexual offender must report in person to the Sheriff’s Office in the county where they live four times per year. The months that the offender must report are based on their birth month. So an offender must report in their birth month and then every third month after. A sexual offender may be required to re-register either two or four times per year, depending upon the offenses they are convicted of. In either case, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will inform the person the number of times they are required to re-register each year.