Come to Florida on vacation and leave a registered sex offender

By FAC . . . A registered individual goes to Florida on vacation and does the right thing by registering with the Sheriff’s office in the county where he is vacationing, presuming he’ll only be on the registry during the time he is in Florida. WRONG!

Although he is only required to register in his home state for 10 years and eventually is removed at the end of 10 years, he will be on the Florida sex offender registry for life! That’s because Florida, to inflate the registry count, keeps people on its public sex offender registry after they return to their home states, move out of Florida, are deported, or even die!

The purpose of “Megan’s Law” is to inform the public of “dangerous” people in their communities. But what purpose does Florida’s registry serve when the individual is no longer in the community and no longer in the state? Only to create shame for life!

Worse, Florida is perhaps the only state that allows its registry to be indexed by search engines. This means that if you Google your name, your sex offender flyer comes right up. As harmful as this is for registrants in Florida, it’s particularly harmful and unnecessary for registrants who are no longer in the state, who are not on a publicly indexed registry in their own states, or who have been removed from the registry in their home states.

Less than half the people on the Florida sex offender registry are living in Florida communities. Less than half!

Individuals on the Florida registry who are no longer in Florida, coordinated in conjunction with the Florida Action Committee, are looking to bring a lawsuit against the State seeking their removal from the Florida registry. If anyone is interested in participating or contributing to this challenge, please contact legal@floridaactioncommittee.org.

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Rso defense 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #38840 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    By FAC . . . A registered individual goes to Florida on vacation and does the right thing by registering with the Sheriff’s office in the county where
    [See the full post at: Come to Florida on vacation and leave a registered sex offender]

  • #38844 Reply
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    Debi

    This happened to my son. He went to Florida to see his younger brother graduate from college. He was on a deferred two year registry out of Colorado. That was over 10 years ago. He is still showing up on Florida’s site even though he has been off in Colorado all these years. And now it is on his passport.

  • #38841 Reply
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    Michael Shimkin

    I’ve always found it to be a particular oddity… more appropriately; a conflict of interest, that an agency such as a registration board collects fees from those with whom that agency is responsible for keeping on the registration list. So, what incentive does Florida, or any state, have to reduce the number of individuals on their lists? Registration boards, if necessary at all, should be to maintain and monitor but getting on and off the registration list should be the responsibility of an agency not directed tied to such conflict of interest in funding.

  • #38928 Reply
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    Douglas Martinez

    Worse, Florida is perhaps the only state that allows its registry to be indexed by search engines. This is incorrect. I am in TN and you google my first and last name the very first option is my full name (including middle) and my criminal history. In the description it says I am a sex offender.

  • #38962 Reply
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    Steve

    I now find that I have to, on occasion explain to others that I have only one conviction in NY and not a conviction in Florida because of their registry laws. I did the right thing a few years ago when visiting my parents when my mother was recovering from a stroke. I’m a lv 1 registered SO (low risk) in NY and was not searchable online. Once I was in Florida’s system that all changed. I have 10 yrs of 20 on NY registry. I’m hoping that within the next 10 yrs Florida will open their eyes and remove name for people who’s crime was not committed in there state but had to register while visiting.

  • #40541 Reply
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    JohnDoeNC

    “My situation is the same thing only different”

    After 18 years I am finally no longer required to register in the state of North Carolina. My petition for removal was granted two weeks ago. I am no longer under any residency or premise restrictions. I am effectively a free man. I am just waiting for my name to drop off the DPS website.

    HOWEVER!

    I will ALWAYS be a registered sex offender. Why? My home state and state of conviction South Carolina has a lifetime registry. Unless the law is changed I will always be registered on the SC SOR. I left SC in 2006 and I initially moved through another state before I settled in North Carolina 10 years ago. I reported to the SC SOR and informed them I was moving out of state and where I was moving to. I then left that state and moved to NC. I had no obligation to inform SC that I subsequently moved to NC. So the information on the SC SOR is inaccurate. I have no legal obligation to notify them of my current address. They do however have access to the national registry. They were also notified of my petition for removal from the NC SOR, which is required by NC law. They most certainly have my current address in NC now if they wanted to update their registry.

    So here I am. Finally out from under the burden of the registry in NC. A judge has declared that I am no longer a danger and do not have to register. There is actually a box the judge has to check and then sign certifying I am not a danger before I can be removed.

    BUT, a state I have not lived in for 12 years still thinks I am a threat to the good citizens of SC? To what end? So the good and decent citizens of SC if they should ever travel to my neighborhood 200+ miles away can be on the lookout for a crazed, deranged, and dangerous sex offender.

    How does having me on their list living 200+ miles away keep their local communities safe? By the way the address they list me at is over 400 miles away from SC.

    I know this rant makes me look ungrateful and there are those that would love to be in my position. All I’m trying to say is it will never be over for me. Should I choose to have a Facebook account I would be denied. Should I apply for a passport I will still have the unique ID. If I want to travel internationally I will still have to give 21 days notice.

    All because a state where I no longer live will always consider me a danger. Proof positive it’s continuing punishment and nothing at all to do with public safety.

    • #41103 Reply
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      Nuña Bidnis

      Hey JohnDoeNC,

      Since NC & SC are both in the 4th circuit, seems to me that’s the court where you need to go to get this fixed…assuming you have the $$ to hire an attorney.

    • #50854 Reply
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      rpsabq

      Your situation is actually quite common. It’s much easier to get removed from a “secondary state” especially if your original offense happened in a state that has lifetime registration. States are well aware of how this works. They aren’t interested in incurring the cost of registering an offender that didn’t even commit a crime in their state especially when they know you’ll still be registered anyway. This is punishment. They know it and we know it. They are fully aware that you are still being punished while experiencing a little reprieve by not being on a local registry. True, that saves you from housing constraints, local bullying and the trouble of registering but you still can’t work anywhere and if anyone wants to find out they can still go to google just like before. As long as we still have States with lifetime registration, all these State cases are just band aids. The real fix will have to be a national one coming out of the Supreme Court.

  • #48705 Reply
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    Concerned FL Man

    I too share in the sad story of continuing punishment for a non-violent crime, but my story is a little bit more odd and different than the rest.

    Back in 2003 I was having a bad time with my now deceased father, which compelled me to move. So i met someone that offered me a place to stay. Well to cut out a VERY long story, the state never could prove i was guilty; because I wasn’t. Somehow, compelled me to take a plea deal ( i shouldn’t have), and told me its the best there is. (5 years sex offender probation..what a joke). Anyways, I told them i’ll take the plea deal BUT I will not give up my rights. They as much told me i HAVE to give up my rights in order to even go to trial or take a deal. So at the time i was very uneducated and I didn’t know my rights like I know them now. What they did was illegal. The Bill of Rights and Constitution are the SUPREME laws of the land, not statutes or ordinances. And yes, there is a BIG difference in a Statute, Law, and Ordinance. So anyways, I am living in Florida on a lifetime registry with no way out but to seek another/better state to move to with my fiance. Florida is rubbish, full of liars, and the Sheriffs Department is evil and crooked.

    The only great thing that’s happened here is my fiance. The worse thing here is that I now have to put up with them coming around about every 3 months or so to “check” on my residence on my Driver License. The question i pose to everyone is this: “Since most states (florida is no exception) has the Stop And ID Law, which means they cant ask you for your information unless they suspect you of a crime or have proof you committed a crime. Can they still ask me for my ID and other information even though im off of Probation now since 2008?” I would be grateful to anyone who would know the answer to this.

  • #49260 Reply
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    Rso defense

    We all are suffering due to the increasingly more burdensome laws being passed continuously without challenge. We need to unite and fight legally.

  • #54717 Reply
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    Dan

    I am disgusted with the regulations set forth against sex offenders by the state of Florida. For starters, on the FAC website we are referred to as predators, which is an indication of how offenders are viewed there. It is bad enough to be humiliated and continually punished for a mistake that I served five years in jail for while living in my own community, but to have to register for life while on vacation is beyond. I am a nonviolent offender who can’t even visit my parents in their old age for fear of a lifetime of persecution, shame, regulations and registry in the state of Florida. My heart goes out to all offenders who are non violent. Because of our mistakes we live lives that are no longer our own. I always wonder how it is that a person who committed a sexual crime is more condemned by the justice system than a person who took a life. When a person in jail for man slaughter gets out, he or she is truly free.

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