Sex Offender Registration in Hillsborough County

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Approximately 30% of sexual assault cases are reported by the authorities.” The DOJ goes on to say that in 2012, there were nearly 63,000 “cases of child sexual abuse reported in 2012.” Here are some other statistics reported by the Department of Justice:

  • Of all sexual assault cases, only about 30% are reported to authorities.
  • In 2012, there were nearly 347,000 reported sexual assaults and rapes of victims 12-years-old and older.
  • About 18% of women in the United States have been raped during their lifetime.
  • About 300,000 college women were raped in 2006.
  • In 2012, 34% of sexual abuse victims were under the age of 9.
  • 82% of young sexual abuse victims (juveniles) are female.

According to the DOJ, “Disclosure of sexual abuse is often delayed; children often avoid telling because they are either afraid of a negative reaction from their parents or being harmed by the abuser. As such, they often delay disclosure until adulthood.” To learn more, check out this fact sheet entitled, “What You Need to Know About Sex Offenders.”

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender?

In Florida, criminal defendants have to register as sex offenders if they have been “convicted of a qualifying sexual offense in Florida or another jurisdiction,” according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. While this is not the complete list of registerable sex offenses, you will notice that many of these crimes involve young victims.

  • Kidnapping a minor
  • False imprisonment of a minor
  • Luring or enticing a minor
  • Human trafficking
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor
  • Trying to get a minor to engage in prostitution
  • Selling or buying a minor for prostitution
  • Selling or buying a minor for sex trafficking
  • Sexual performance by a child under Sec. 827.071
  • Sexual battery under Sec. 794.011 (not including subsection 10)
  • Prohibited sexual misconduct under Sec. 393.135(2)
  • Prohibited sexual misconduct under Sec. 394.4593(2)

Sex Offender/Predator Requirements

Florida distinguishes between sex offenders and sexual predators. While sex offenders have been convicted of various sexual offenses, sexual predators have been convicted of “sexually violent offenses.” You can learn more about sexually violent offenses by reading Section 775.21, The Florida Sexual Predators Act.

The basic registration obligations of a sexual offender or predator are similar; he or she will be required to report to their local sheriff’s office. That said, here is the basic information they will have to provide: name, date of birth, Social Security number, race, sex, height and weight, hair and eye color, fingerprints, tattoos, identifying marks, place of employment, occupation, vehicle information, all contact phone numbers, email address, conviction information, immigration status, residential address, and more.

Sex offenders are required to register at their local sheriff’s office twice a year or four times a year depending on the seriousness of the offense. On the other hand, it’s mandatory for sexual predators to report four times a year.

Note: Under Florida law, both sex offenders and sexual predators are required to register for the rest of their lives. Additionally, ALL qualifying sex offenders and predators are on this public website.

Failing to Register as a Sex Offender/Predator

“Are there consequences of failing to register as a sex offender or predator?” Yes, absolutely. If a sex offender/predator fails to adhere to the state’s registration requirements, he or she commits a felony offense. If you have failed to register as a sex offender or predator, please contact our office immediately for defense representation.

To learn more about our case results in regards to sex crimes, click here. On the Case Results page, one of our results involves the failure to register as a sex offender. Our client was facing a possible five-year prison sentence, but we were able to get all charges dropped.