Registration Requirements for Felons
Entering a plea to a felon comes with serious consequences that can last a lifetime. If the court adjudicated you guilty of the felony offense, then Florida law deprives convicted felons of certain civil rights including being issued or renewing a professional licenses to sell real estate or insurance, holding public office, serving on a jury, or having the right to vote.
But did you know that every “convicted felon” in Florida must meet registration requirements every time they enter any county in Florida as required by Florida Statute Section 775.13.
Additionally, the statute broadly defines the term “convicted” to mean any felony offense in which a determination of guilt resulted from a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
Attorney for Convicted Felon Registration in Florida
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients accused of felony and misdemeanor offenses throughout the state of Florida.
We can help you understand the registration requirements that last for five years after the sentence is completed. Before you enter a plea to any felony offense, it is important to understand all of the potential penalties and collateral consequences.
Our main office is in downtown Tampa, FL. We have a second office in New Port Richey.
What Does Florida Statute Section 775.13 Require?
Florida Statute Section 775.13(2) provides:
“[a]ny person who has been convicted of a felony in any court of this state shall, within 48 hours after entering any county in this state, register with the sheriff of said county, be fingerprinted and photographed, and list the crime for which convicted, place of conviction, sentence imposed, if any, name, aliases, if any, address, and occupation.
If the felony conviction is for an offense that was found, pursuant to s. 874.04, to have been committed for the purpose of benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal gang, the registrant shall identify himself or herself as such an offender.
The Department of Law Enforcement, in consultation with appropriate local law enforcement agencies, may develop standardized practices for the inclusion of gang affiliation at the time of offender registration.”
Under Section 775.13(3), the same requirements apply to any person “who has been convicted of a crime in any federal court or in any court of a state other than Florida, or of any foreign state or country, which crime if committed in Florida would be a felony, shall forthwith within 48 hours after entering any county in this state register with the sheriff of said county in the same manner as provided for in subsection (2).”
Exceptions to the Registration Requirements under Section 775.13
Not all persons who enter a plea to a felony are required to follow the registration requirements found in Section 775.13. In fact, the registration requirements under Section 775.13 do not apply to the following types of offenders:
- who has been lawfully released from incarceration or other sentence or supervision for a felony conviction for more than 5 years prior to such time for registration, unless the offender is a fugitive from justice on a felony charge or has been convicted of any offense since release from such incarceration or other sentence or supervision;
- who is a parolee or probationer under the supervision of the United States Parole Commission if the commission knows of and consents to the presence of the offender in Florida or is a probationer under the supervision of any federal probation officer in the state or who has been lawfully discharged from such parole or probation;
- who is classified as a career offender who has registered as required in s. 775.261 or s. 944.609.
- who is classified as a sexual offender and has registered as required in s. 943.0435 or s. 944.607;
- who is classified as a sexual predator and has registered as required under s. 775.21;
- whose civil rights have been restored; or
- who has received a full pardon for the offense for which convicted.
Penalties for Failing to Register as a Convicted Felon in Florida
The penalties for failing to register as a convicted felony under Florida Statute Section 775.13(5) include:
- With regard to any felon who has been found, pursuant to s. 874.04, to have committed any offense for the purpose of benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal gang, constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
- With regard to any other felony constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Frequently Asked Questions on Felon Registration Requirements
Does Florida Statute Section 775.13 violate the ex post facto laws?
The Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected the argument that a trial court’s order to register as a convicted felon violates the constitutional right against ex post facto laws under Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10 of the Florida Constitution. See Burgos v. State, 765 So. 2d 967, 968, 2000 Fla. App. LEXIS 11336, *3, 25 Fla. L. Weekly D 2137.
What If I Entered the Plea Without Being Told About the Felon Registration Requirements?
In Cella v. State, 831 So. 2d 716, 717, 2002 Fla. App. LEXIS 16054, *1, 27 Fla. L. Weekly D 2374, the defendant contended that his plea was involuntary because he was not informed of the convicted felon registration requirement of Fla. Stat. ch. 775.13. On appeal, the court found that the record showed that the defendant was not misled and that he was given accurate and correct information concerning the nature of a withhold of adjudication of guilt in accordance with established case law from the Florida courts. Further, it was not necessary to advise the defendant of the registration requirement in order to accept the plea. Registration under ch. 775.13 was not a direct consequence of the plea. Rather, it was a collateral consequence, and the defendant could not set aside the plea on the basis that he was not advised of a collateral consequence. Therefore, the defendant was not permitted to withdraw his nolo contendere plea for a withhold of adjudication.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.