In State v Croce, the defendant successfully argued in a lower court that FS (Florida Statutes) 943.0435(4)(h) and (9) did not require the individual to register as a sex offender until the completion of their probation. And, the 2nd District Court of Appeals agreed.
Mr. Croce failed to register an instant messaging device which is an obligation in 943.0435(4)(e). He argued this was not required since he was on probation which is a sanction that needs to be completed before the obligation to register exists.
This argument was successfully described previously in State v James (2020) also from the 2nd DCA. The Court clearly noted in that case that a sanction had not been met (prison term and then paying hefty fines) which the Court considered prerequisites to an obligation to register.
The opinion weighed heavily on the importance of statutory intent, case law and new laws.
The State went further by having the Legislature clean up the statute to make its intent clearer.
The Court ruled “en banc” so all judges in this appeals court have been heard on the matter.
The Court smartly parked ex post facto influences.
The reader is left vexed.