Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Offender - Predator Explanation

On March 21 I pointed to Florida's sexual offender and sexual predator definitions asking, "If someone out there from the legal community blogs the difference(s) between the two, please let me know."

Yesterday I sent an email to Matt Conigliaro at Abstract Appeal asking if he'd explain the difference in very simple terms.

Matt's reply, quoted here with his permission, is:

There is a difference, barely, in who is a "sexual predator" and who is a"sexual offender." The latter are people who have been convicted of any of a series of statutorily listed crimes generally involving sexual conduct and which may be various levels of offenses, including first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree felonies. (Second-degree felonies are considered less serious than first-degree felonies, and third-degree felonies are considered less serious than second-degree felonies.) A "sexual predator" is a slightly more narrow list of folks. It basically includes anyone who's twice committed a crime that merits the "sexual offender" label or anyone who commits a single crime that merits the "sexual offender" label and that crime is a capital, life, or first-degree felony.

At one point there was a requirement that a person be determined to bedangerous to others before being designated a sexual predator. That requirement has been removed.

Both sexual offenders and sexual predators are subject to heavy reporting requirements regarding where they live, work, and attend school.
If you're a Florida Blogger and Abstract Appeal (The first web log devoted to Florida Law and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals) isn't on your blogroll, it should be.

UPDATE: For those wanting more detail, Deborah provides this link.

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