Florida’s Romeo & Juliet Law
January 28, 2010
Under Florida Law when an accused is sentenced in a statutory rape case, the Court is required to impose a designation as a sex offender or a sex predator depending on the nature of the charges. These designations involve very stringent and public statutory conditions and restrictions that may have a devastating impact on the future of the young accused adult. Recognizing that the facts of certain statutory rape cases may not call for these stringent sex offender or sex predator designations, in 2007 the Florida Legislature passed the Romeo & Juliet Law which allows a person convicted of a statutory rape case to petition the Court for removal of the sex offender or sex predator registry designation.
However, the Florida Romeo & Juliet law has very strict requirements that must be met before the Court will grant the petition. The person must be convicted of a statutory rape case; the victim must have been between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the offense; and the person convicted must have been no more than four years older than the victim at the time of the offense. The petition must be filed in the Court where the sentence occurred, and the petition must allege that the removal of the registration requirement will not conflict with federal law. If all the statutory rules are not strictly followed, the Court will deny the petition and the Florida Romeo & Juliet Law strictly forbids the filing of another petition.
For further information please see my blog post dated March 2, 2010, Defending Child Sex Crimes