Florida Permanent Address Registration
Florida requires that all sex offenders, which includes sexual predators, to register a change of address within 48 hours (see above paragragh for clarity of 48 hours). This applies to an offender that is released from incarceration, as the offender is establishing a new permanent address. It obviosuly also includes somebody changing their permanent residence. Sadly, sometimes this “address” is homeless but some address must still be provided. Every registrant must list some specific address regardless of their circumstances as a permanent address. Homeless is technically considered a permanent address that's simply in transient status as a temporary address means temporarily residing at location but even homeless is for some, their current permanent situation. Temporary addresses are an entirely different topic that are covered in it's own section (use the other required link to the right). Transient residents too have specific rules but most of us establish a permanent address before we ever could consider a temporary address so we’ll cover it in that order.
The 48 hour rule with registration when an offender moves to a new address is, business hours, not literal hours. Therefore when an offender moves on a Friday, they can’t very well report over a weekend when registration won’t be open. They could however report it on Friday but this is not always practical and therefore the clock starts ticking. Exactly when that clock starts ticking is a very vague rule, and you’ll get a different answer from everybody how it actually works, so the best rule of thumb is don’t wait. Do it the same day of a change of address. Consider it more important than the physical move. If this registration isn’t done, the offender is non compliant and could be arrested and charged with an entirely new crime of failing to register.
Registration occurs at the local sheriff station. They may not process these registrations five days a week, so check the days and hours of operation. It’s possible some use an appointment system. Neither a release from prison nor a normal change of address can be reported until it occurs, and so appointments may not always be able to be accommodated. Generally these aren’t the reasons they set up an appointment system, we haven’t gotten to re-registrations yet.
If they are unable to accommodate an appointment, that does not mean that the offender doesn’t have to register. It means they won’t have an appointment. They must sit and wait, however long it takes, but it must still be done. If somebody had a heart attack they don’t skip the doctor because they didn’t have an appointment.
Re-Registrations – Once a permanent residence is registered, it may or may not change. Some move frequently, others remain at one place for long periods of time. If something changes then the offender has to report the new change within 48 hours. If however, nothing changes, then the offender must re-register at select intervals. It sounds a little silly, but they basically show up at these regular intervals just to verify nothing has changed, because if something had changed, they would already be out of compliance.
This is their method of keeping track of so many offenders. Offenders show up at regular intervals, essentially doing nothing more than saying “It’s me, and nothing on my address has changed”. This is their method for making sure the registration is current. It’s much easier for law enforcement to demand the offender come to them at regular intervals to verify the info is current, then it is for law enforcement to check on every offender in their jurisdiction.
The time intervals between these re-registrations depend on the offender status. If they are considered a sexual offender, and not a sexual predator, re-registrations are every six months. If they are a considered a sexual predator they are every three months.
The re-registration schedule is a little confusing. It’s not based on when the initial registration is done, it’s based on the offender's birth month. Happy birthday, and by the way it's re-registration time! I suppose this is because it’s easier to determine somebody’s birth month which law enforcement would know, as opposed to the date of a move they may not know. So regardless of when an initial registration or a change of address registration is completed, re-registrations will be timed around the month of an offender’s birthday.
They have the entire month to complete it by, but it must be done before the month ends, or they are again out of compliance, and could be charged with a new crime, simply for not coming in to report that nothing changed.
Since re-registration is mandated at least twice a year for all sex offenders. four times a year for sexual predators, they will always show up at some point during the month of their birthday, but they will also need to re-register on months based from their birth month as a starting point. In other words, if an offender is required to register as a regular sex offender twice a year, and their birthday is in January, they will also be required to register in June, which is six months from January. This schedule is provided at each registration, so that the offender leaves clearly knowing when it’s time to do it again. These regular re-registrations are the reason some local offices provide and pointments. You may not always know when you have a change until the last minute, but you always know when your next regularly scheduled registration is due.
Registration is not limited to address change. They also include vehicle registrations, phone number registration and for those who can use the internet, email and Instant message registration (these last two can be done on line). Temporary addresses are required to be registered as well, and there is an entire section on each of these other registration requirements. Permanent address is probably the most inportant of all requirements to keep up to date but the other matter just as much.
Vehicles (including your roommate's vehicle)
Register where you work
Enrollment in School
It's not just your permanent address
Many other things are required to be registered.
How long do you have to report any change?
Technically you have 48 hours. What this means is confusing and you won't get a straight answer. Obviously 48 hours that occur over a weekend versus 48 hours that occur over business days mean very different things and there has never been any clarity on this rule other than saying if registration isn't open, then that day doesn't count against you. This is why the rule could be better explained as two business days, with those business days meaning days that registration is open.
Even that remains problematic as any offender can easily tell you that registration will most likely be too busy to accomodate such short notice requests. Many registration offices have developed an appointment system to handle the number of registrations that have to be provided. Walk ins without an appointment are a possibility, but sometimes even walk ins are turned away because of how busy it can get.
If you reside in an area that has an appointment system, the answer sometimes given is that so long as you have an appointment scheduled, and the appointment was made within 2 business days of the change, you are in compliance. No two people will answer the question the same way, and if you request clarity, you will simply be transferred to somebody who may provide a more official don't worry about it, but even they won't provide the clarity deserved.
The only correct answer would be to report in person within two business days and wait as long as it takes. However between the offender's schedule (which won't matter much to authorties claiming an offender was out of compliance) and more importantly the registrations office's own avaialbility there will most definately be situations where the information is not properly reported within the timeframe even if you do redifine 48 hours as two business days.
For the most part authorities are far too busy to go out arresting people simply because they took one or more days longer to report the information than required, but that doesn't mean they don't have the right to if they want. Our best advise is to prioritize a permanent address change regardless of the inconvenience or hassle. Other changes are probably not ever going to be enforced as strongly as the permanent address. Report to the office as soon as possible. If they refuse you get a name or better yet documentation stating you were there. If they take appointments, make it immediately and schedule the appointment as soon as possible.
All felons must register upon release from custody. This creates a conflict for sex offenders between felony registration and sex offender registration.
All sex offenders are felons however not all felons are sex offenders. The question arises must a sex offender do both registrations or does the sex offender registration handle the requirement of felony registration? You may get a different answer depending upon who you ask because not all officials are experts on the differences and so they may advise that both are necessarry for the simple reason that they actually don't know or perhaps they think they know but are incorrect.
Per a memo straight from FDLE the conflict is addressed by stating that sexual offender registration satisfies the requirement of felony registration but the wording of sexual predator was used leaving it unclear what this means for sexual offenders not deemed to be considered sexual predators. Since the rules for sexual predators would never be more lenient than for sexual offenders it has been determined that it's more than likely wording that has not been specificly address in legistlation. You can contact FDLE to verify this by calling 888-357-7332.
Sexual predators who have registered as required by law are not required to register as felons. The law did not provide the same exemption for sexual offenders who register as required by law. However, this appears to be an oversight, since the sexual offender registration requirement is more demanding than the general felony registration. Failure to register as a general felon is a second degree misdemeanor.
The statute itself is listed under 775.261 section 3(b).
Sex Offender Registration vs. Felony Registration
Important changes adding new registration requirements effevtive 10/1/2014.
Important changes adding new registration requirements effevtive 10/1/2016.
Important changes adding new registration requirements effevtive 07/01/2018.
Registered sex offenders will soon have to report temporary addressess that they stay at for an aggreagate period of three days in a year. Previsoulsly the rule was 5 days. Clicick on the temporary addresses link to learn more.