On September 1, 2005, the Jessica Lunsford Act took effect, significantly altering Florida’s Sexual Offender and Predator Registration Laws. It resulted in tougher registration requirements and increased penalties for violations.
It requires electronic monitoring for certain sexual offenders placed on supervision and will require the courts to order electronic monitoring for designated sexual offenders and predators who violate probation or community control. The Act also;
- Requires a sexual predator or offender to report in person twice a year to the Sheriff's Office in the county in which he or she resides. Failure to comply with this requirement is a 3rd degree felony.
- Extends the period for a petition to remove a sexual predator designation from 20 to 30 years for those designated after September 1, 2005.
- Provides criminal offense for predators/offenders failing to respond to address verification.
- Provides a criminal offense for those who assist, harbor or conceal a sexual predator or sexual offender in eluding law enforcement or provides false information.
- Provides a criminal offense for a person who alters, tampers, damages or destroys any court-ordered electronic monitoring equipment.
- Provides a life felony and 25-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for committing a lewd or lascivious molestation on a child under 12 when the offender is 18 or older. If not life imprisonment, provides for a split sentence for a person convicted of a life felony for a lewd and lascivious molestation on or after 09/01/05, to include electronic monitoring for the duration of the defendant's natural life.
- If the probationer or offender is a registered sexual predator/offender, a court finding is required with regard to the danger the person poses to the public prior to his or her release on bail.
- Adds mandatory electronic monitoring for a conditional releasee whose crime committed on or after 09/01/05 for certain offenses where the victim was 15 years or younger and the offender is 18 years or older.
- Adds a designation as a sexual predator to the list of aggravating circumstances in court sentencing proceedings for the commission of a capital felony.
- Requires public and private misdemeanor probation entities to search each probationer against the Florida sexual offender registry and implement procedures for accessing criminal history records of probationers.
- Requires background screening for all contractual personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present or have direct contact with students.