Sex offender from South Carolina pleads guilty for failing to register in Jacksonville

A man convicted of a sex crime in South Carolina pleaded guilty to failing to properly register when he moved to Florida. The man now faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in South Carolina in 1998. He moved to Jacksonville from Maryland and, when he did, used a false address when applying for a Florida identification card, the newspaper reported.

In Florida, it is a third-degree felony when a sex offender does not register with police as required by the terms of a person’s conviction. In cases that cross state lines, police and prosecutors may decide to prosecute the case in federal court, rather than in state court. In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the decision was federal court. The punishment in federal court for this offense – a maximum of 10 years in prison – is double the five-year maximum sentence the suspect was facing for a third-degree felony. The charge was initially filed in state court, and then dropped when the federal case concluded. Once a person is convicted of a sex crime, there are very strict laws governing the person and his or her registration after any prison time has been served. Depending on the crime the person was convicted of or pleaded guilty to, the person must check in with police at least twice a year. There are also restrictions on where the person can live, including how close they can live to a school, playground or where children congregate.

Unlike other crimes where this would be a violation of probation, failure to register as a sex offender is a separate felony crime. In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the man told police he moved to Jacksonville in June, got an ID with a fake address in August and was arrested at his actual address in September, the newspaper reported. If he were to have registered, as required, nearby residents would have been notified that a sex offender was now in the neighborhood. The notification would include his name, address and the charge he pleaded guilty to or was convicted of that qualified him as a sex offender. People who are convicted of or plead guilty to sex crimes have consequences that last longer than the actual prison sentence. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney is experienced in representing people charged with sex crimes. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can explain in detail the lifelong consequences of a plea or conviction so you or your loved one can make an informed decision going forward.

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.