Romeo and Juliet Laws

Having to register as a sex offender is one of the most damaging things that can happen to a person. As a registered sex offender you cannot live within 1,000 feet of anywhere children congregate (parks, school bus stops, schools), seek cover in public shelters during natural disasters, and much more. Not to mention, a vast majority of formal job applications require you to identify whether or not you are a registered sex offender, information that can be cross-referenced if needed.

While many agree that such restrictions and requirements are necessary for convicted rapists and possessors of child pornagraphy, many others wouldn’t agree it necessary for a teenager who engaged in consensual sex. However, Florida law allows teenagers who engage in sexual activity with underage teens to be tried and convicted as sex offenders, subjecting them to the aforementioned limitations for a minimum of 25 years after sentence completion.

If you or a loved one is facing sex offender registration for consensual sex as teenager, be sure to reach out to a knowledgeable attorney who can make you aware of you options. The Florida criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can inform you of the Romeo and Juliet statute and how it may apply to your case.

Romeo and Juliet Law Requirements

The Romeo and Juliet law was passed in 2007. Although it still permits the conviction of teenagers engaged in consensual sex and ensuing sex offender registration, individuals can now petition the court to be removed from the sex offender registry. This option is only available to those whose cases meet the following criteria:

The Victim

  • Must have been at least 14-years-old at the time of the act
  • Must have consented to the sexual activity

The Offender

  • Could not have been convicted or accused off a prior sex crime
  • Must have been four years or less older than the victim
  • Must have been convicted of a qualifying sexual offense

Keep in mind that the Romeo and Juliet law does not alter the legality of engaging in sexual acts with an underage teenager, but instead provides the opportunity for a teenager to shake the potentially lifelong label of a sex offender.

When Romeo and Juliet May Not be Applicable

Every petition to have a name removed from the sex offender registry in accordance to the Romeo and Juliet law will not be approved. Prosecutors have the right to object the motion or petition as a result of the offender:

  • Targeting the underage victim (via web or social chats)
  • Being warned by the victim’s parents to stay away from the victim prior to the instance
  • Providing alcohol or drugs to the victim
  • Criminal history
  • Having a history of charged or uncharged behavior with minors
  • Being in a authority position of the victim
  • Acting in a coercive manner

A denied petition results in the Romeo and Juliet law not being applied and the sex offender status of the offender to remain.

Orlando Romeo and Juliet Law Attorneys

Improve your chances of having a successful petition by acquiring the legal representation of an experienced Romeo and Juliet law attorney. The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are abreast of the Romeo and Juliet law and its applications.

We can analyze your case and determine whether or not you can benefit from this statute designed to separate actual sex offenders from lustful teenagers. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.

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