A recent article from the Associated Press highlights the growing number of people being placed on sex offender registries all over the country. According to the report, there are more than 800,000 people on registries in the United States. Their crimes vary from relatively minor indecent exposure charges to serious child molestation charges. In certain states, Florida included, once you are placed on a sex offender registry, you can NEVER get off.
When someone is arrested for any sex crime in Jacksonville, they will most likely have a very high bond. As high as if they were facing a murder charge with a lot less evidence. The State Attorney’s Office then has about two and a half weeks to make a decision about what to do with the case. They can file the case as charged, they can drop the case because of a lack of evidence, or try to negotiate a disposition prior the the filing decision.
Negotiations in sex cases are very important and can have lifelong consequences. Sometimes, the prosecutor assigned to the case will offer to file a non-sex charge in return for the defendant serving jail time, going on probation, or both. Sometimes, the prosecutor will offer the sex charge with no jail or prison time, but require sex offender probation with the added bonus of being labeled a sex offender for life. In Duval County and every county in Florida, when you are convicted of a sex crime, such as sexual battery, sex offender probation is going to be part of the punishment. Florida sex offender probation is the most difficult probation in our justice system. An offender will be required to successfully complete psychosexual counseling, have no unsupervised contact with minors, cannot live within 1,000 feet of places where children regularly congregate, submit themselves to searches from the probation officer at all times, may have to wear an ankle monitor as well as many other conditions.