Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law addresses cases involving consensual sexual relationships between teenage minors and young adults. Effective July 1, 2007, the Florida Legislature revised the law regarding sex offender registration for people convicted of “Romeo and Juliet” offenses. It is still illegal for an adult to have sexual contact with a minor. However, the Legislature has acknowledged that there is a fundamental difference in situations where two young people, within 4 years of age, engage in consensual sexual contact, and other types of sexual offenses. Florida Statute 943.04354, created an avenue for certain people who were previously convicted of a “Romeo and Juliet” offense to petition the Court to remove the requirement that they register as sexual offenders. You may qualify to petition the Court for removal from the sexual offender registry if:
• You were previously convicted of a violation of Florida Statute 794.011 or 800.04.
• You are required to register as a sexual offender solely on the basis of that conviction.
• You were no more than 4 years older than the victim of the offense, and the victim was between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the offense.
If you qualify, a petition must be filed in the court where you were sentenced. The petition must specifically allege that all of the criteria for removal are satisfied, and that removal from the registry will not conflict with federal law. If everything is in order, and all of the procedural requirements are met, the Judge may consider removal. However, it is important to note that if the petition is denied for any reason, you are strictly prohibited from refilling. If you believe you or a loved one qualifies for the “Romeo and Juliet” law contact The Lambert Law Firm right away.