Our readers in Florida probably know that individuals who have been convicted of a crime and who are under court supervision – such as probation – face conditions to their release which they must obey. Sex offenders, however, have even more strict requirements that they must meet than, say, a person who has been arrested and convicted for driving while intoxicated.
As a recent article noted, most sex offenders are required to comply with almost every legal obligation a person could be required to meet. If a sex offender, for example, fails to properly register their vehicles, that could be viewed as a violation of their terms of court supervision. At least, that is the way nearby Polk County has decided to view these requirements and, as noted in a recent news article, convicted sex offenders in that county may have been subjected to questionable arrests in a law enforcement sweep.
The operation, known as “Operation Karma,” resulted in the arrest of 26 individuals for alleged violations of their legal obligations. It appears that none of these arrestees were alleged to have violated the more serious aspects of their court supervision terms, such as committing certain sex acts or being in the same location or having contact with children. The arrests appear to be based on the fact that these sex offenders are required to provide their most recent contact information to their local government law enforcement and, allegedly, did not do so.
The recent article noted that this may be an effort to “double punish” these individuals, even as they were, for the most part, probably obeying the terms of their court supervision. These arrestees will want to carefully consider how they approach their criminal defense strategy.