A headline in Today’s, Daily Ridge reads, “8 Polk County sexual predators and offenders arrested for failure to comply with Florida law”. We had to read the story to check out what horrible new sex crimes these guys were committing and, as expected, these were not new sex offenses, but technical registration violations.
Worst, of the eight arrests, five (yes, 5 of the 8) were individuals who lived at the same address who were all charged with failing to report a vehicle.
So five people, all living at the same address, all getting charged with failing to register a vehicle… We had to look into it.
With 5 registrants all living at the same address (and it not being a high-rise condominium), it was unlikely that they purchased a fleet of vehicles and collectively decided to evade registration. It sure smelled like someone new moved in who had a vehicle and they all got popped for failing to register a new guy’s car.
According to this press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, one of the guys only moved there last week!
We always wanted to challenge the “vehicles owned” change to the registration requirement. Not only for situations where roommates change vehicles beyond the control of the registrant (yet triggering a registrant’s registration requirement), but also because individuals whose cars don’t belong to a sex offender should not have their cars on the sex offender registry.
This mass arrest provides an opportunity to bring this challenge in the context of a criminal charge (where the accused have the right to be appointed an attorney).
If anyone knows or has access to these individuals, please invite them to contact us.