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What Are the Consequences of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender?

If you are convicted of a sexual offense, loss of privacy and fear of harassment are two reasons why you may consider not registering as a sex offender. However, penalties for failing to register are steep.

Under Florida statutes, anyone convicted as a sex offender who fails to comply with registration and notification requirements is subject to third-degree felony charges. For a third-degree felony, there are various ways courts can sentence depending on criminal history. Some sentencing options include up to five years’ imprisonment or 10 years for a habitual offender plus a possible $5,000 fine.

The U.S. Department of Justice also oversees convicted sex offenders through its Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires individuals convicted of sexual offenses to register initially in the jurisdiction where they were convicted and then in each jurisdiction where they live, work or attend school. Initial registration occurs before release from prison or, when the sentence did not involve imprisonment, within three business days of sentencing. Federal penalties for knowingly failing to register or update a registration include a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment. Even when your sexual offense conviction did not occur in the federal justice system, the federal government can prosecute you when the jurisdiction where you were convicted requires you to register under SORNA, and when you travel between states or internationally, or enter or leave a Native American reservation. Again, the maximum penalty is 10 years.

Protect your rights by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Whether facing initial prosecution for a sexual offense or for registry violations, a skilled attorney can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Choose a law firm that will fight for you.