I'm currently in Florida and was also charged here in Florida. In 1995, I was charged with one count lewd and lascivious - a second degree felony. At the time, I was 21 years old and attending college after coming home from the Army. I was introduced to a girl, who told me that she was 18 years old and attending a neighboring college. Long story short, after a few weeks of seeing this girl, I was informed that she was 15 years old by the sheriff department. All in all, I ended up taking a plea bargain which seem to be the best deal at the time but now it seems to be working like a double-edged sword. I pled "nolo contendere" with the adjudication of guilt withheld followed by the successful completion of 2 years probation. My probation started Dec '95 and ended Dec '97. The sex offender registry law was put into effect Oct '97 for "CONVICTED" SEX OFFENDERS AND PREDATORS. My question(s) is how can I get off of the registry because first and foremost I am not a "convicted" sex offender and secondly it is a violation of my civil liberties for the simple fact that I can still vote and purchase a firearm.
Florida Statute 921.0011 defines Conviction as a "determination of guilt" that is the result of a plea or trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
A nolo contendere plea with the adjudication of guilt withheld followed by probation (if successfully completed) is deemed not be a "determination of guilt" (Negron v State, 799 So. 2d 1126 ) (Lawrence v State, 785 So. 2d 728, 730 )
So, if there is no determination of guilt, how can there be a conviction and how could I be required to register as a convicted sex offender? Also, I have pulled my criminal record and it shows 1 felony charge but no felony convictions. Prior to this incident, I had never had a run-in with the law - not even a speeding ticket.