Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that s. 948.061 of the Florida State Statutes deals with identifying, assessing, and monitoring high-risk sex offenders on community supervision and providing comprehensive criminal and supervision histories on the Internet.

Who May Be Monitored

The statute stipulates that by no later than December 1, 2005, the Department of Corrections must have developed a gradual risk assessment that identifies, assesses, and closely monitors a high-risk sex offender who is placed on probation or in community control and who:

(a) has previously been placed on probation or in community control and has a history of committing multiple violations of community supervision in this state or in any other jurisdiction or has previously been incarcerated in this state or in any other jurisdiction; and
(b) has experienced more than one of the following risk factors that could theoretically make the offender more likely than they would otherwise be to pose a danger to others:
1. Previous conviction for domestic violence;
2. History of substance abuse;
3. Unemployment or substantial financial difficulties;
4. Previous conviction for violence or sex acts against children, particularly involving strangers; or
5. Any other risk factor identified by the department.

The statute goes on to state that in order to facilitate the information available to the court at first appearance hearings and at all subsequent hearings for these high-risk sex offenders, the department must have, no later than March 1, 2006, post on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Intranet a comprehensive list of the sex offender’s prior terms of state probation and community control. This list, will include all substantive or technical violations of state probation or community control.

Further, the county jail in the county in which the arrested person is booked shall ensure that state and national criminal history information and all criminal justice information available in the Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center is provided to the court at the time of the first appearance. The courts must assist the department’s dissemination of critical information by creating and maintaining an automated system to provide the information as specified in this subsection and by providing the necessary technology in the courtroom to deliver that information.

How a Lawyer Can Help

The state statute also specifies that in monitoring the location of high-risk sex offenders, the department shall, no later than October 1, 2006, have fingerprint-reading equipment and capability that will immediately identify the probationer or community controllee (the individual placed under community control) when he or she reports to his or her designated probation officer and alert department probation officials when probationers and community controllees are subsequently rearrested.

As you can see from the content of s. 948.061, a great deal of what was originally prescribed in the law has already taken place. To that point, what the law required initiation of 9-10 years ago, as is the case with this law, is still in effect today. These measures and methods of identifying and assessing high-risk sex offenders under supervision are still utilized by Florida law enforcement to this day.