Legislature looking at making it a crime to loan a car to a sexual predator

Florida legislators are considering adding even more to the long list of punishments for someone deemed a sexual predator, now proposing to make it a crime for someone to let a known sexual predator use his or her vehicle. The proposed law would also make the state-mandated curfew for sexual predators from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The curfew is now 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., so this would add four more hours and make it a full 12 hours a day sexual predators would be confined to their homes, the newspaper reported. Adjustments could be made for individual people based on work hours but the 12-hour curfew would be the baseline, the newspaper reported.

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences in Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases between a sexual offender and a sexual predator. The difference lies in the severity of the crime and the defendant’s sexual criminal history. For example, any violent crimes involving a child would classify a person as a sexual predator. As would two convictions of second-degree Jacksonville Sex Crimes in a 10-year period. Crimes such as lewd and lascivious contact with a child between the ages of 12 and 18 would qualify, so two convictions or pleas in a decade could allow the court to deem someone a sexual predator. Sexual predators in Jacksonville have much stricter guidelines than sexual offenders. All have to register and report to police periodically, though the time intervals are much shorter for predators than offenders. There are also more restrictions on where predators can live, in terms of distance from schools, playgrounds and other areas where children congregate. Especially in Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases, legislators tend to take every element of a horrific crime and then try to make it illegal.

The new restriction on loaning a vehicle comes from the Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case where Donald Smith borrowed his mother’s vehicle and is now jailed, accused of abducting an 8-year-old girl from a Jacksonville Wal-Mart and then raping and killing her. The state senator from Jacksonville who proposed the law referenced Smith by name in the newspaper report. The new law would make it a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in the county jail, to loan a vehicle to someone you know is a sex predator – even though Smith was a sexual offender and hadn’t been classified as a sexual predator. If the predator were to commit a sex crime while using the vehicle, the owner could lose his or her driver’s license for one year. There’s no crime, even a murder conviction that follows a person more than a Jacksonville Sex Crime. And there’s also none that elicits less sympathy from the general public, so it’s highly likely that any proposal that ratchets up the punishment for those who pleads guilty to or are convicted of a Jacksonville Sex Crimes will receive overwhelming support from the legislature.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.