FDLE Internet Web Site Frequently Asked Questions

These are our answers to the most frequently asked questions relating to using FDLE's Internet site. Please refer to them before contacting the FDLE Webmaster (see end for contacts).

If you have questions about the new look of our web site (we changed dramatically in August of 2000), please see our Frequently Asked Questions about FDLE's Internet Site Redesign

1.0 - Site Access Problems

1.1 - Why is database search xyz not currently available?
Sometimes our web server experiences technical difficulties and we are not aware of the problem for a short time. If you experience extended delays in accessing a portion of our site, please contact our Webmaster to report the problem.

1.2 - Why does your site use cookies, and what are they doing to my computer?
FDLE does not employ the use of permanent or dated expiration cookies on our web site. We use only temporary cookies, which last only as long as your current browser session (that is, until you exit from your web browser). These cookies are never stored on your computer's hard drive.

Our site uses these temporary cookies only in sections where it will make it easier for you to use our site. For example, several parts of our web site allow searches to be performed directly on our databases here at FDLE, such as the Sexual Predators Search, or the Missing Children's Search. In order to reduce response times and make these searches easier to use, we make use of a cookie so that we know if you have already performed a search on our site during your current visit, and what you were looking for. We do not store this information beyond your current visit, but it helps us to make the web site more responsive to your needs.

If you would like to learn more about cookies, please read the March 1998 report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability concerning cookies and common misconceptions about them.

If after all this, you are still unwilling to browse our site further because of cookies, contact our offices by telephone to gain the information you are searching for, as the usefulness of the Internet to you will be severely limited.

2.0 - Finding Information

2.1 - Why isn't xyz provided on your website?
We are constantly working to improve and extend the information and services provided on our website. Please understand that, although we strive for the highest level of public accessibility, our resources are still limited, so it might just be that we have not yet had time to prepare what you're looking for for the Internet. Other times, legal issues may prevent us from providing certain sensitive law enforcement information. If something you need is not on our web site and you believe it is publicly available, you may contact our offices to obtain the information through other means. If you have a suggestion for something you would like to see on our web site, feel free to send your comments to our Webmaster.
 
2.2 - I saw an article on your site a few months ago, and now I can't find it! What gives?
FDLE works to keep its site fresh and dynamic, which means that time-sensitive information will often be placed online and removed in the matter of a few days. This happens most often on our front page, where alerts and notices appear like headlines on a newspaper. Also like a newspaper, these headlines quickly go out of date, and the articles attached to them are usually removed. On the other hand, we do try to keep information of lasting value on our site as long at it remains relevant.

2.3 - How often is the Sexual Predators information updated on your site, and how do these updates happen?
The sexual predator and offender database is continually updated through submissions from multiple data sources. These sources include the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC), the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), and law enforcement agencies across the state. FDLE receives daily updates to the offender/predator listing from FDC regarding any new or updated information for those offenders under their control through probation or other types of supervision in addition to the address and photo update information received on all offenders and predators through DHSMV.

Offenders and predators are obligated by law to register any new address with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) through DHSMV within 48 hours of establishing that residence. Failure to do so is a third degree felony offense. Individual address changes are listed with the date the address was reported to FDLE on the flyer page of each offender and predator. As any offender's or predator's information may or may not be updated on a given day it would be misleading to the public to list an overall update date for the entire database. To determine if a certain individual is registered with the database you may search by last name rather than address.

If you believe that a registered sexual offender or predator has established residence in your neighborhood and has not reported that new address to the proper authorities please contact the FDLE Sexual Offender/Predator Unit (SOPU) or your local police department or sheriff's office so that they may investigate the matter. You may reach the SOPU by toll free number, 1 (888) 357-7332. It is important to note that, due to the criteria set forth by Florida law, not all individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses will qualify to be listed as a registered sexual offender or predator. Additionally, positive identification of a person believed to be a sexual predator or offender cannot be established unless a fingerprint comparison is made, and it is illegal to use public information regarding a registered sexual predator or offender to facilitate the commission of a crime.

If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact the SOPU at your convenience. The unit operates Monday -Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

3.0 - Contacts

3.1 - How do I contact the FDLE Webmaster?
To contact the Webmaster click here.

3.2 - I want to contact someone besides the Webmaster at FDLE. How do I do that?
See our Primary Contacts Listing, or our Regional Contacts Listing for other contact information.