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Sex crimes: Child-centered businesses may be banned for offenders

Crimes against minors that relate to sexual offenses are often considered especially troubling by society. Though there is good reason for this, there are times when those convicted of sex crimes haven't had their chance to tell their side of the matter, or may have even been falsely accused. They not only have to contend with punishment by the criminal justice system here in Florida, but with the social stigma. This could get worse in the future, as one Brevard County Commissioner wants to prevent convicted sex offenders from being allowed near any business that caters to children.

Most jurisdictions around the nation limit how close someone convicted of a sex crime can get to a school, park or day care center. In Brevard County, offenders cannot go within 1,000 feet of these types of places. Commissioner John Tobia is pushing an ordinance that would stop offenders from coming within that same range of any business considered child-focused. This could include arcades, trampoline parks and more.

Tobia says that businesses would make the choice whether they wanted to be included in this restriction. He even proposed creating a registry that businesses could add themselves to on a voluntary basis. Penalties for those who violate the ordinance, if it is passed, would be similar for ones already in existence for public parks, meaning a violation could result in jail time or a fine.

Though this ordinance is well-intentioned, it has the potential to further limit the abilities of those convicted of sex crimes in Florida to participate in society. It is vital that those accused of these types of offenses have access to comprehensive criminal defense that can give them the best chance at fair treatment in court. An attorney with experience handling these types of cases may be an accused person's best hope.

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