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Florida legislature passes law affecting convicted sex offenders

May 12, 2010

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The Florida legislature passed a bill which prohibits sex offenders and predators from coming within 300 feet of where children congregate. The bills specifically declares off limits locations such as schools, parks and playgrounds. The 300 foot ban imposed against those convicted of crimes such as sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct is in effect 24 hours a day. If a person previously convicted of a sex offense and characterized by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as a sexual offender or sexual predator is caught within 300 feet of a school, park or playground, they will charged with a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to a year in jail. This is another example of why a defendant must retain a highly qualified Miami criminal lawyer to defend all sexually motivated crime. While a plea to probation may be an easy way out of a case and certainly avoids incarceration, the life-long effects of entering such a plea will eventually become apparent.

Another law passed by the State of Florida also impacts individuals deemed to be sexual offenders or sexual predators. The current state of the law in Florida does not permit convicted sex offenders or predators to live within a 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and parks. If the state law was not onerous enough, some individual South Florida counties and municipalities have passed their own rules increasing the living restriction to 2,500 feet. Legislators attempted to amend the most recently passed bill to reflect 2,500 feet, but it was withdrawn at the last minute. The problem of the increased living restrictions became apparent with the recent media attention to the shanty town created by sexual offenders and predators living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Other jurisdictions have had similar problems with offenders not being able to live anywhere legal. These individual move into the streets where state authorities cannot track them as required by the law.

If someone is being investigated or has been arrested for being involved in a sex offense, it is imperative not to speak with law enforcement investigators. On many occasions, individuals involved in these types of investigations believe their version of events provided to law enforcement will somehow prevent an arrest and prosecution. While a statement maybe on the whole exculpatory, minor details may be gleaned by detectives to make their case stronger. The constitution of the United States provides that everyone has the right to refuse to speak to law enforcement and also has the right to request not speaking to authorities without having a criminal attorney by their side. Take advantage of your rights. These laws apply to all types of cases from DUI's to first degree murder.

There are many offenses that if pled to will cause a person to be labeled a sexual offender or sexual predator. Some of the offenses are sexual battery, indecent exposure, lewd and lascivious behavior and possession or distribution of internet child pornography. A plea to any of these charges will most likely result in a person being labeled as a sexual offender or sexual predator. Defendants should also be aware that even if charges are negotiated as a part of plea bargaining, FDLE can still label someone as a sexual offender or predator even if they plead to a non-sexually motivated offense. The best way to avoid any of these consequences is to hire a highly qualified criminal defense firm to beat the case outright.

Florida Senate Votes to Ban Sex Offenders from Loitering Near Schools, Park, Sun, April 30, 2010.
Categories: Sex Offenses
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