Two Jacksonville men were back in jail after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a sweep of unregistered sex offenders. Police arrested one man in April and another in June for these Jacksonville Sex Crimes, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. State police timed the crackdown around a time where students were getting out of school and could be more likely to come in contact with a potentially dangerous sexual predator. Both men had failed to register with the police when they moved – a violation of their status as a Florida sexual offender and, in the state of Florida, separate crime in and of itself. Jacksonville failure to register as a sex offender is a third-degree Duval County felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Many defendants who are charged with failing to register as a sexual offender feel like they are being punished twice for the same crime. While there may be in fact one sexual incident that is the root of the offense, failure to register is a separate crime. And the stakes are generally high.
In most criminal cases in the state of Florida, a length of a sentence is at least partially based on sentencing guidelines. The guidelines factor in the type of crime and the defendant’s criminal record, especially the severity of previous crimes. So, in a failure to register case, everyone charged with that has also either pleaded to or been convicted of a Jacksonville sex crime. And the seriousness of that crime almost guarantees sentencing guideline to be at least a year in prison, likely much more. Judges are often reluctant to give a sentence that is not within those guidelines and must provide a legal reason for doing so. A sex crime conviction in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida carries with it enormous penalties and obligations, including the registration requirement. Sex crimes are the only crime that, if you are convicted, allows the state to broadcast your history every time you move to a new neighborhood, alerting everyone in a certain geographic radius.
Sexual predators are not free to live wherever they choose. For example, they cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school. And authorities keep close tabs on the offenders and predators, making sure they are living where they say they are. Stings like the one that nabbed the two Jacksonville men are fairly common. Both men had two previous sex crime convictions, according to the newspaper, and likely have sentencing guidelines near the top of the five-year maximum. The consequences of a sex crimes conviction are damning and can be extremely difficult to recover from and you need an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes attorney that can help fight the charges and limit the damages to your professional and personal life.
If you or a loved one needs a Sex Crime Defense Attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Experienced Duval County Sex Crimes Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.