943.0435  Sexual offenders required to register with the department; penalty.--

(1)  As used in this section, the term:

(a)  "Sexual offender" means a person who meets the criteria in subparagraph 1., subparagraph 2., or subparagraph 3., as follows:

1.a.  Has been convicted of committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the criminal offenses proscribed in the following statutes in this state or similar offenses in another jurisdiction: s. 787.01, s. 787.02, or s. 787.025(2)(c), where the victim is a minor and the defendant is not the victim's parent; chapter 794, excluding ss. 794.011(10) and 794.0235; s. 796.03; s. 796.035; s. 800.04; s. 825.1025; s. 827.071; s. 847.0133; s. 847.0135; s. 847.0137; s. 847.0138; s. 847.0145; or 1s. 985.701(1); or any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former statute number to one of those listed in this sub-subparagraph; and

b.  Has been released on or after October 1, 1997, from the sanction imposed for any conviction of an offense described in sub-subparagraph a. For purposes of sub-subparagraph a., a sanction imposed in this state or in any other jurisdiction includes, but is not limited to, a fine, probation, community control, parole, conditional release, control release, or incarceration in a state prison, federal prison, private correctional facility, or local detention facility;

2.  Establishes or maintains a residence in this state and who has not been designated as a sexual predator by a court of this state but who has been designated as a sexual predator, as a sexually violent predator, or by another sexual offender designation in another state or jurisdiction and was, as a result of such designation, subjected to registration or community or public notification, or both, or would be if the person were a resident of that state or jurisdiction, without regard to whether the person otherwise meets the criteria for registration as a sexual offender; or

3.  Establishes or maintains a residence in this state who is in the custody or control of, or under the supervision of, any other state or jurisdiction as a result of a conviction for committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the criminal offenses proscribed in the following statutes or similar offense in another jurisdiction: s. 787.01, s. 787.02, or s. 787.025(2)(c), where the victim is a minor and the defendant is not the victim's parent; chapter 794, excluding ss. 794.011(10) and 794.0235; s. 796.03; s. 796.035; s. 800.04; s. 825.1025; s. 827.071; s. 847.0133; s. 847.0135; s. 847.0137; s. 847.0138; s. 847.0145; or 1s. 985.701(1); or any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former statute number to one of those listed in this subparagraph.

(b)  "Convicted" means that there has been a determination of guilt as a result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. Conviction of a similar offense includes, but is not limited to, a conviction by a federal or military tribunal, including courts-martial conducted by the Armed Forces of the United States, and includes a conviction or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere resulting in a sanction in any state of the United States or other jurisdiction. A sanction includes, but is not limited to, a fine, probation, community control, parole, conditional release, control release, or incarceration in a state prison, federal prison, private correctional facility, or local detention facility.

(c)  "Permanent residence" and "temporary residence" have the same meaning ascribed in s. 775.21.

(d)  "Institution of higher education" means a career center, community college, college, state university, or independent postsecondary institution.

(e)  "Change in enrollment or employment status" means the commencement or termination of enrollment or employment or a change in location of enrollment or employment.

(2)  A sexual offender shall:

(a)  Report in person at the sheriff's office in the county in which the offender establishes or maintains a permanent or temporary residence, within 48 hours after establishing permanent or temporary residence in this state or within 48 hours after being released from the custody, control, or supervision of the Department of Corrections or from the custody of a private correctional facility. Any change in the sexual offender's permanent or temporary residence or name, after the sexual offender reports in person at the sheriff's office, shall be accomplished in the manner provided in subsections (4), (7), and (8).

(b)  Provide his or her name, date of birth, social security number, race, sex, height, weight, hair and eye color, tattoos or other identifying marks, occupation and place of employment, address of permanent or legal residence or address of any current temporary residence, within the state and out of state, including a rural route address and a post office box, date and place of each conviction, and a brief description of the crime or crimes committed by the offender. A post office box shall not be provided in lieu of a physical residential address.

1.  If the sexual offender's place of residence is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home, as defined in chapter 320, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department written notice of the vehicle identification number; the license tag number; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home. If the sexual offender's place of residence is a vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat, as defined in chapter 327, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department written notice of the hull identification number; the manufacturer's serial number; the name of thevessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat.

2.  If the sexual offender is enrolled, employed, or carrying on a vocation at an institution of higher education in this state, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department the name, address, and county of each institution, including each campus attended, and the sexual offender's enrollment or employment status. Each change in enrollment or employment status shall be reported in person at the sheriff's office, within 48 hours after any change in status. The sheriff shall promptly notify each institution of the sexual offender's presence and any change in the sexual offender's enrollment or employment status.

When a sexual offender reports at the sheriff's office, the sheriff shall take a photograph and a set of fingerprints of the offender and forward the photographs and fingerprints to the department, along with the information provided by the sexual offender. The sheriff shall promptly provide to the department the information received from the sexual offender.

(3)  Within 48 hours after the report required under subsection (2), a sexual offender shall report in person at a driver's license office of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, unless a driver's license or identification card was previously secured or updated under s. 944.607. At the driver's license office the sexual offender shall:

(a)  If otherwise qualified, secure a Florida driver's license, renew a Florida driver's license, or secure an identification card. The sexual offender shall identify himself or herself as a sexual offender who is required to comply with this section and shall provide proof that the sexual offender reported as required in subsection (2). The sexual offender shall provide any f the information specified in subsection (2), if requested. The sexual offender shall submit to the taking of a photograph for use in issuing a driver's license, renewed license, or identification card, and for use by the department in maintaining current records of sexual offenders.

(b)  Pay the costs assessed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for issuing or renewing a driver's license or identification card as required by this section.

(c)  Provide, upon request, any additional information necessary to confirm the identity of the sexual offender, including a set of fingerprints.

(4)(a)  Each time a sexual offender's driver's license or identification card is subject to renewal, and, without regard to the status of the offender's driver's license or identification card, within 48 hours after any change in the offender's permanent or temporary residence or change in the offender's name by reason of marriage or other legal process, the offender shall report in person to a driver's license office, and shall be subject to the requirements specified in subsection (3). The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall forward to the department all photographs and information provided by sexual offenders. Notwithstanding the restrictions set forth in s. 322.142, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to release a reproduction of a color-photograph or digital-image license to the Department of Law Enforcement for purposes of public notification of sexual offenders as provided in ss. 943.043, 943.0435, and 944.606.

(b)  A sexual offender who vacates a permanent residence and fails to establish or maintain another permanent or temporary residence shall, within 48 hours after vacating the permanent residence, report in person to the sheriff's office of the county in which he or she is located. The sexual offender shall specify the date upon which he or she intends to or did vacate such residence. The sexual offender must provide or update all of the registration information required under paragraph (2)(b). The sexual offender must provide an address for the residence or other location that he or she is or will be occupying during the time in which he or she fails to establish or maintain a permanent or temporary residence.

(c)  A sexual offender who remains at a permanent residence after reporting his or her intent to vacate such residence shall, within 48 hours after the date upon which the offender indicated he or she would or did vacate such residence, report in person to the agency to which he or she reported pursuant to paragraph (b) for the purpose of reporting his or her address at such residence. When the sheriff receives the report, the sheriff shall promptly convey the information to the department. An offender who makes a report as required under paragraph (b) but fails to make a report as required under this paragraph commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(5)  This section does not apply to a sexual offender who is also a sexual predator, as defined in s. 775.21. A sexual predator must register as required under s. 775.21.

(6)  County and local law enforcement agencies, in conjunction with the department, shall verify the addresses of sexual offenders who are not under the care, custody, control, or supervision of the Department of Corrections in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and any other federal standards applicable to such verification or required to be met as a condition for the receipt of federal funds by the state.

(7)  A sexual offender who intends to establish residence in another state or jurisdiction other than the State of Florida shall report in person to the sheriff of the county of current residence within 48 hours before the date he or she intends to leave this state to establish residence in another state or jurisdiction. The notification must include the address, municipality, county, and state of intended residence. The sheriff shall promptly provide to the department the information received from the sexual offender. The department shall notify the statewide law enforcement agency, or a comparable agency, in the intended state or jurisdiction of residence of the sexual offender's intended residence. The failure of a sexual offender to provide his or her intended place of residence is punishable as provided in subsection (9).

(8)  A sexual offender who indicates his or her intent to reside in another state or jurisdiction other than the State of Florida and later decides to remain in this state shall, within 48 hours after the date upon which the sexual offender indicated he or she would leave this state, report in person to the sheriff to which the sexual offender reported the intended change of residence, and report his or her intent to remain in this state. The sheriff shall promptly report this information to the department. A sexual offender who reports his or her intent to reside in another state or jurisdiction but who remains in this state without reporting to the sheriff in the manner required by this subsection commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(9)(a)  A sexual offender who does not comply with the requirements of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b)  A sexual offender who commits any act or omission in violation of this section may be prosecuted for the act or omission in the county in which the act or omission was committed, the county of the last registered address of the sexual offender, or the county in which the conviction occurred for the offense or offenses that meet the criteria for designating a person as a sexual offender.

(c)  An arrest on charges of failure to register when the offender has been provided and advised of his or her statutory obligations to register under subsection (2), the service of an information or a complaint for a violation of this section, or an arraignment on charges for a violation of this section constitutes actual notice of the duty to register. A sexual offender's failure to immediately register as required by this section following such arrest, service, or arraignment constitutes grounds for a subsequent charge of failure to register. A sexual offender charged with the crime of failure to register who asserts, or intends to assert, a lack of notice of the duty to register as a defense to a charge of failure to register shall immediately register as required by this section. A sexual offender who is charged with a subsequent failure to register may not assert the defense of a lack of notice of the duty to register.

(d)  Registration following such arrest, service, or arraignment is not a defense and does not relieve the sexual offender of criminal liability for the failure to register.

(10)  The department, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of Corrections, any law enforcement agency in this state, and the personnel of those departments; an elected or appointed official, public employee, or school administrator; or an employee, agency, or any individual or entity acting at the request or upon the direction of any law enforcement agency is immune from civil liability for damages for good faith compliance with the requirements of this section or for the release of information under this section, and shall be presumed to have acted in good faith in compiling, recording, reporting, or releasing the information. The presumption of good faith is not overcome if a technical or clerical error is made by the department, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department of Corrections, the personnel of those departments, or any individual or entity acting at the request or upon the direction of any of those departments in compiling or providing information, or if information is incomplete or incorrect because a sexual offender fails to report or falsely reports his or her current place of permanent or temporary residence.

(11)  A sexual offender must maintain registration with the department for the duration of his or her life, unless the sexual offender has received a full pardon or has had a conviction set aside in a postconviction proceeding for any offense that meets the criteria for classifying the person as a sexual offender for purposes of registration. However, a sexual offender:

(a)  Who has been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or sanction, whichever is later, for at least 20 years and has not been arrested for any felony or misdemeanor offense since release; or

(b)  Who was 18 years of age or under at the time the offense was committed and the victim was 12 years of age or older and adjudication was withheld for that offense, who is released from all sanctions, who has had 10 years elapse since having been placed on probation, and who has not been arrested for any felony or misdemeanor offense since the date of conviction of the qualifying offense


may petition the criminal division of the circuit court of the circuit in which the sexual offender resides for the purpose of removing the requirement for registration as a sexual offender. The court may grant or deny such relief if the offender demonstrates to the court that he or she has not been arrested for any crime since release; the requested relief complies with the provisions of the federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and any other federal standards applicable to the removal of registration requirements for a sexual offender or required to be met as a condition for the receipt of federal funds by the state; and the court is otherwise satisfied that the offender is not a current or potential threat to public safety. The state attorney in the circuit in which the petition is filed must be given notice of the petition at least 3 weeks before the hearing on the matter. The state attorney may present evidence in opposition to the requested relief or may otherwise demonstrate the reasons why the petition should be denied. If the court denies the petition, the court may set a future date at which the sexual offender may again petition the court for relief, subject to the standards for relief provided in this subsection. The department shall remove an offender from classification as a sexual offender for purposes of registration if the offender provides to the department a certified copy of the court's written findings or order that indicates that the offender is no longer required to comply with the requirements for registration as a sexual offender.

(c)  As defined in subparagraph (1)(a)2. must maintain registration with the department for the duration of his or her life until the person provides the department with an order issued by the court that designated the person as a sexual predator, as a sexually violent predator, or by another sexual offender designation in the state or jurisdiction in which the order was issued which states that such designation has been removed or demonstrates to the department that such designation, if not imposed by a court, has been removed by operation of law or court order in the state or jurisdiction in which the designation was made, and provided such person no longer meets the criteria for registration as a sexual offender under the laws of this state.

(12)  The Legislature finds that sexual offenders, especially those who have committed offenses against minors, often pose a high risk of engaging in sexual offenses even after being released from incarceration or commitment and that protection of the public from sexual offenders is a paramount government interest. Sexual offenders have a reduced expectation of privacy because of the public's interest in public safety and in the effective operation of government. Releasing information concerning sexual offenders to law enforcement agencies and to persons who request such information, and the release of such information to the public by a law enforcement agency or public agency, will further the governmental interests of public safety. Thedesignation of a person as a sexual offender is not a sentence or a punishment but is simply the status of the offender which is the result of a conviction for having committed certain crimes.

(13)  Any person who has reason to believe that a sexual offender is not complying, or has not complied, with the requirements of this section and who, with the intent to assist the sexual offender in eluding a law enforcement agency that is seeking to find the sexual offender to question the sexual offender about, or to arrest the sexual offender for, his or her noncompliance with the requirements of this section:

(a)  Withholds information from, or does not notify, the law enforcement agency about the sexual offender's noncompliance with the requirements of this section, and, if known, the whereabouts of the sexual offender;

(b)  Harbors, or attempts to harbor, or assists another person in harboring or attempting to harbor, the sexual offender; or

(c)  Conceals or attempts to conceal, or assists another person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sexual offender; or

(d)  Provides information to the law enforcement agency regarding the sexual offender that the person knows to be false information,

commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(14)(a)  A sexual offender must report in person each year during the month of the sexual offender's birthday and during the sixth month following the sexual offender's birth month to the sheriff's office in the county in which he or she resides or is otherwise located to reregister. The sheriff's office may determine the appropriate times and days for reporting by the sexual offender, which shall be consistent with the reporting requirements of this paragraph. Reregistration shall include any changes to the following information:

1.  Name; social security number; age; race; sex; date of birth; height; weight; hair and eye color; address of any permanent residence and address of any current temporary residence, within the state or out of state, including a rural route address and a post office box; date and place of any employment; vehicle make, model, color, and license tag number; fingerprints; and photograph. A post office box shall not be provided in lieu of a physical residential address.

2.  If the sexual offender is enrolled, employed, or carrying on a vocation at an institution of higher education in this state, the sexual offender shall also provide to the department the name, address, and county of each institution, including each campus attended, and the sexual offender's enrollment or employment status.

3.  If the sexual offender's place of residence is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home, as defined in chapter 320, the sexual offender shall also provide the vehicle identification number; the license tag number; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, or manufactured home. If the sexual offender's place of residence is a vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat, as defined in chapter 327, the sexual offender shall also providethe hull identification number; the manufacturer's serial number; the name of the vessel, live-aboard vessel, or houseboat; the registration number; and a description, including color scheme, of the vessel, live-aboard vessel or houseboat.

4.  Any sexual offender who fails to report in person as required at the sheriff's office, or who fails to respond to any address verification correspondence from the department within 3 weeks of the date of the correspondence, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b)  The sheriff's office shall, within 2 working days, electronically submit and update all information provided by the sexual offender to the department in a manner prescribed by the department. This procedure shall be implemented by December 1, 2005.

History.--s. 8, ch. 97-299; s. 7, ch. 98-81; s. 114, ch. 99-3; s. 3, ch. 2000-207; s. 3, ch. 2000-246; s. 3, ch. 2002-58; s. 2, ch. 2004-371; s. 9, ch. 2005-28; s. 3, ch. 2006-200; s. 4, ch. 2006-299.

1Note.--Substituted by the editors for a reference to s. 985.4045(1) to conform to the redesignation of sections within chapter 985 by s. 98, ch. 2006-120.