It’s a story we hear all too often…
A teenager or young adult gets caught fooling around with their boyfriend or girlfriend, the cops get called, and someone ends up getting arrested. Because one person is younger than 18, the other person gets charged with a sex crime.
In Florida, if a person is convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or receives a withhold of adjudication for certain sex offenses, they will be required to register as a sex offender. This means that the person’s name is publicly available on the registry, and they will carry the label of sex offender likely for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately the law in Florida allows certain people a way to have their names removed from the sex offender registry. Only certain people qualify for removal, so please contact us or read below to find out more about the removal process.
Removing a person from the sex offender registry using the Romeo and Juliet Law:
In 2007 Florida passed what is called the “Romeo and Juliet” law, which allows people on the sex offender registry to apply to have their names taken off. The law is specifically written to apply to a narrow group of people – those whose crime resulted from an incident with a victim between the ages of 13 and 18, and who was no more than 4 years older than the victim.
The Romeo and Juliet law specifically applies to those who:
Were convicted, or received a withhold of adjudication, to a crime of:
Lewd or lascivious battery;
Lewd or lascivious molestation;
Lewd or lascivious conduct;
Lewd or lascivious exhibition; or
Sexual performance of a child.
Are required to register as a sex offender only because of that conviction;
Were no more than 4 years older than the victim at the time of the crime, as long as the victim was older than 13 and younger than 18; and
Removing the person’s name from the sex offender registry does not conflict with federal law.
In order to get a person’s name removed from the sex offender registry that person’s attorney must file a motion with the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction where they were convicted. The court will then hold a hearing and hear evidence from both the person’s attorney, the prosecutor, and the victim. Even if the court determines that the person meets all the requirements listed above, removing them from the sex offender registry is still up to the court’s discretion.
The power of a clean slate
Removal from the sex offender registry is a life-changing event and removes the life-long stigma that comes along with it. The process for removal from the sex offender registry is complicated and time-consuming. We have extensive experience researching and arguing these motions.