In many cases in which a defendant is convicted of a crime of a sexual nature, the court will impose a sentence that includes a requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender. In some instances, though, a court has the discretion to remove a defendant’s requirement to register as a sex offender. The court can only exercise this discretion if certain factors are met, however, as shown in a recent case in which a Florida appellate court denied the defendant’s petition for the removal of the requirement to register as a sex offender. If you are charged with a crime of a sexual nature, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Sarasota sex crime defense attorney to assess the circumstances surrounding your arrest and what defenses you may be able to assert to protect your rights.
Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was charged with traveling to meet a minor in violation of Florida law, and unlawful use of computer service in violation of Florida law, both of which were crimes of a sexual nature. He was adjudicated guilty and sentenced by the court. His sentence included a requirement that he register as a sex offender. As such, he filed a petition to remove the requirement. The sentencing court denied the defendant’s motion, after which he appealed.
Removal of the Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender
Under Florida law, if certain requirements are met, a court has the discretion to consider removing a requirement imposed on a defendant convicted of a sex crime. Specifically, the requirement can be waived if a defendant is convicted of sexual performance of a child, lascivious or lewd offenses that were committed in the presence of a person under the age of sixteen, and engaging in specific computer transmissions that are prohibited by law.
In the subject case, the appellate court noted that the crimes for which the defendant was convicted did not fall under the enumerated offenses that would permit a court to waive the requirement to register as a sex offender. The appellate court was not persuaded by the defendant’s argument that the crimes he was convicted of were similar to the enumerated crimes. Specifically, the appellate court explained that it was not at liberty to read words into the statute that were not included by the legislature, as when a statute’s language is clear and unambiguous, it cannot be extended or limited, or otherwise modified. As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.
Meet with a Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Charges
If you live in Sarasota and are charged with a sex crime or any other criminal offenses, it is critical to meet with an attorney to discuss what measures you can take to protect your rights. William Hanlon of Hanlon Law is a skillful Sarasota sex crime defense attorney with the knowledge and experience needed to help you seek the best result available under the facts of your case, and he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Hanlon at 941-462-1789 or through the form online to schedule a meeting.