Florida Senate - 2012 SB 618 By Senator Fasano 11-00508A-12 2012618__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to an animal abuse registry; creating 3 “Dexter’s Law”; defining terms; creating an animal 4 abuse registry within the Department of Law 5 Enforcement; requiring the clerk of court in the 6 judicial circuit in which a person’s conviction for an 7 animal abuse offense occurred to forward a copy of the 8 judgment document of the conviction and other 9 specified information to the department within a 10 specified timeframe after the date of judgment; 11 requiring that the department maintain the animal 12 abuse registry and make the registry available for 13 public inquiry on the Internet; requiring that a 14 person convicted of an animal abuse offense register 15 with the animal abuse registry; setting forth the 16 information from the abuser to be recorded in the 17 registry; requiring that each person registered with 18 the animal abuse registry update his or her 19 registration information each time he or she moves 20 from one residential address to another or, if his or 21 her residential address does not change, annually 22 following the date of his or her first registration; 23 requiring each person who is required to register with 24 the animal abuse registry to do so each year that the 25 person resides in this state; requiring that each 26 person on the registry pay an annual administrative 27 fee to the department; directing that the fees be used 28 to pay the administrative costs of maintaining the 29 registry; providing that a person who fails to 30 register with the department, fails to update critical 31 information, or fails to pay the annual administrative 32 fee, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree; 33 providing criminal penalties; providing an effective 34 date. 35 36 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 37 38 Section 1. This act may be cited as “Dexter’s Law.” 39 Section 2. Animal abuse registry; registration required; 40 penalties.— 41 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 42 (a) “Animal” means a mammal other than a human being or a 43 bird, amphibian, fish, or reptile, wild or domestic, living or 44 dead. 45 (b) “Animal abuser” or “abuser” means a person who has been 46 convicted of committing an animal abuse offense. 47 (c) “Animal abuse offense” means the commission of any act 48 that constitutes the criminal offense of: 49 1. Cruelty to animals under s. 828.12, Florida Statutes; 50 2. Fighting or baiting animals under s. 828.122, Florida 51 Statutes; 52 3. Killing a dog or cat with the intent to sell or give 53 away its pelt under s. 828.123, Florida Statutes; 54 4. Killing or aggravated abuse of horses or cattle under s. 55 828.125, Florida Statutes; 56 5. Sexual activities involving animals under s. 828.126, 57 Florida Statutes; or 58 6. Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, 59 or exercise under s. 828.13, Florida Statutes. 60 (d) “Conviction” means a determination of guilt as the 61 result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo 62 contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. The 63 term includes, but is not limited to, a conviction by a federal 64 or military tribunal, including courts-martial conducted by the 65 Armed Forces of the United States, or entry of a plea of guilty 66 or nolo contendere resulting in a sanction in any state of the 67 United States or other jurisdiction. A sanction includes, but is 68 not limited to, a fine, probation, community control, parole, 69 conditional release, control release, or incarceration in a 70 private correctional facility, local detention facility, state 71 prison, or federal prison. 72 (e) “Department” means the Department of Law Enforcement. 73 (2) CREATION OF THE ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY.— 74 (a) An animal abuse registry is created within the 75 Department of Law Enforcement. The registry shall contain the 76 name and other information of each animal abuser living in this 77 state who has been convicted of an animal abuse offense. 78 (b) Commencing October 1, 2012, the clerk of court in the 79 judicial circuit in which a person’s conviction for an animal 80 abuse offense occurs shall forward, electronically or otherwise, 81 to the department a copy of the judgment document for each 82 conviction, the abuser’s home address, and other information set 83 out in subsection (3) for each person convicted on or after 84 October 1, 2012, of an animal abuse offense. The clerk shall 85 forward the information to the department within 45 days 86 following the date of judgment. 87 (c) The animal abuse registry shall be maintained by the 88 department and made available for public inquiry on the 89 Internet. 90 (3) REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER.— 91 (a) A person 18 years of age or older who resides in this 92 state and is convicted of an animal abuse offense on or after 93 October 1, 2012, must register with the animal abuse registry. 94 The person shall register with the department through the 95 clerk’s office in the county where he or she maintains a 96 permanent residence. 97 (b) Each person who is required to register with the animal 98 abuse registry shall cooperate with the clerk to forward the 99 following information to the department at the time of his or 100 her conviction of an animal abuse offense and on the anniversary 101 date of the conviction: 102 1. The abuser’s name and any aliases by which he or she is 103 known. 104 2. The abuser’s date of birth. 105 3. The abuser’s permanent residential address. 106 4. Any electronic mail address used by the abuser. 107 5. All animal abuse offense convictions, by conviction 108 date. 109 6. A photograph of the abuser’s head and shoulders from the 110 front. 111 112 The department may use the driver license photograph of the 113 abuser maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor 114 Vehicles for the registry. If no driver license photograph is 115 available, the department shall use the photograph taken at the 116 abuser’s arraignment. 117 (c) Each person registered with the animal abuse registry 118 shall update his or her registration information each time he or 119 she moves from one residential address to another or, if his or 120 her residential address does not change, annually from the date 121 of his or her first registration. 122 (d) Each person who is required to register with the animal 123 abuse registry must do so each year that the person resides in 124 this state. 125 (4) ADMINISTRATIVE FEES.—Each person who is required to 126 register with the animal abuse registry must pay an annual fee 127 of $50 to the department. These fees shall be used to pay the 128 administrative costs of maintaining the registry. 129 (5) PENALTIES.—A person who is required to register with 130 the animal abuse registry and who fails to do so, fails to 131 annually update the registry information, or fails to pay the 132 annual administrative fee commits a misdemeanor of the first 133 degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, 134 Florida Statutes. 135 Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2012.