The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is part of a comprehensive federal law that requires states to maintain a system for monitoring and tracking convicted sex offenders following their release into the community. SORNA makes it a federal crime to knowingly fail to register with a state’s authorities, or to fail to update registration at specified times, in accordance with the law’s requirements. SORNA applies to all 50 states. There are serious criminal consequences for failing to comply with SORNA’s requirements.
While each state defines for itself what types of crimes are considered sex offenses, SORNA categorizes those offenses into three “tiers” according to the length of prison term the law requires, aggravating circumstances, the age of the victim, and other factors. SORNA then imposes different reporting requirements for each tier.
Failure to Register Under SORNA
Under SORNA, those state convicted sex offenders who knowingly fail to register or update their registration can be prosecuted. Offenders can face up to 10 years in prison. If an offender fails to register, and also commits a violent federal crime, he may face up to 30 years in prison.
Under Florida law, it requires sex offenders to register with local law enforcement in any county that the sex offender will reside in for more than two weeks. The registration must be completed within the first 48 hours of arriving in that county, whether it is because the offender was released from incarceration to that county or moved there from elsewhere. If coming from out of state, the general rule is that if your conviction would mandate registration in the previous state, then you are required to register in Florida.
Failure to properly register as a sex offender in Florida is a third-degree felony. That means, if you are convicted, you can be sentenced to prison for up to five years. Florida complies with the requirements of SORNA, which strengthens sex offender registration laws. As a result, if you fail to register as a sex offender, you can also be charged in a federal court and if convicted be sent to a federal prison.
By hiring an experienced Central Florida and Federal criminal defense attorney, Haas Law can help you determine how often you must report and what information is reportable to advise you of how best to remain in compliance. Call us at 407-755-7675 or fill out our online contact form. Start preparing your defense today!