In Florida, people convicted of sex crimes generally are required to register as sex offenders; if they fail to, they may face additional charges. Notably, people can be required to register as sex offenders if they are convicted of sexual offenses that require registration in other states. Recently, a Florida court examined what constitutes an offense requiring registration in a case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for failing to register. If you are accused of a sex crime, it is important to meet with a Tampa sex crime defense attorney to assess your options for protecting your interests.
Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was charged with failing to register as a sex offender. The defendant moved for acquittal, but his motion was denied. A jury subsequently found him guilty as charged. The defendant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was required to register as a sex offender.
Crimes Requiring Sex Offender Registration
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that to establish culpability for failing to register as a sex offender, the State was required to demonstrate that the defendant was convicted of a sexual offense that required registration. In order to meet this burden, the State offered evidence at trial that the defendant was found guilty of oral copulation with the use of force in California.
The court noted that the documents offered by the State at trial set forth the California Penal Code provisions that established the crime in question. Said documents also noted that the Defendant was required to register as a sex offender in California and cited the relevant Code provisions that formed the basis of the requirement.
The defendant argued that the evidence offered by the State was inadequate to show he was the person in the California judgment and that, even if he was, the documents failed to show he needed to register as a sex offender in Florida. The court disagreed, noting that the documents in question contained the defendant’s photograph, date of birth, full name, and extensive descriptions of his tattoos, height, and race.
Thus, the court found that a reasonable fact finder, when reviewing the evidence submitted by the State, could come to the conclusion that the defendant was the person convicted in California. Further, the court noted the question of whether the California offense required the defendant to register as a sex offender in Florida was rightfully decided by the court.
Talk to an Experienced Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction for a sex crime can permanently harm a person’s rights and reputation, but simply because a person is charged with a sex offense does not mean that they will be convicted. If you are accused of committing a sex crime, it is wise to talk to an attorney about your possible defenses. The experienced Tampa lawyers of Hanlon Law possess the skills and resources needed to obtain favorable verdicts in criminal matters, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact Hanlon Law by using the form online or by calling us at 813-228-7095 to set up a conference.