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Sex Offender Registration
A “registered offender” is a person who has been convicted of a sex crime under federal or state statutes. Such persons are required to submit their personal information in official records known as sex offender registries or sex offender databases. Registered sex offenders must be listed in a registry if they have been convicted of rape, molestation, harassment, or other types of sexual abuse crimes.
Why Do I Have to Registered as a Sex Offender?
The reason sexual offenders have to register as a sex offender is to allow residents in the community to be aware of the presence of registered offenders in their neighborhood or workplace. Residents can access a database and search for the names of such persons. Registered sex offenders can also include persons who have completed their jail or probation sentence, but still show a tendency to engage in victimizing behavior and therefore must register.
Courts have determined that knowledge of sexual offenders within the areas gives other protection of themselves and their family. The public has access instantly through online databases that notifies them of sex offenders in the area, their address, their name, and picture.
Is Mandatory Registration for Past Sex Crimes Legal?
With the passage of Megan's Law and similar registration acts, mandatory registration for past sex crimes is legal. Megan's Law is regulation concerning the publication of sex offender's names, addresses and past convictions. Many have argued that the publication of residence and past convictions is an invasion of privacy and excessive punishment. Most information that has been published for public viewing is legal with few exceptions.
What Type of Information Must I Provide for Registering?
Megan's Law provides broad requirements for what information must be provided but local cities have specific requirements. Pictures, noticeable scars, tattoos, other physical details as well as general addresses of residence and employment are typical of the information requested during registration.
Most communities vary the registration period depending on classifications. Single convictions get the minimum registration period, usually 15 years. Sexual predators which have multiple convictions or special circumstances typically receive lifetime registration requirements.
Can I Fight Mandatory Registration?
All laws can be challenged. The courts have recognized that there are privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution that must be upheld even when registering sex offenders. Exact addresses with apartment number and street numbers have not been allowed to be published, along with exact address for the employers of sex offenders. The safety of the community has overridden certain privacy rights when it comes to offender registration.
What Are the Violations for Sex Offender Registration?
Registered sex offenders have a mandatory requirement to register their information with the local law enforcement agency once they have been convicted and of a specific sex crime. Resgistered sex offenders also are required to update their information annually within five working days of their birthday. If any information changes, sex offenders are required to update the information within 30 days.
Failure to update any required information would result in a violation. Registered sex offenders in violation of the update requirements, the internet website will show that the registrant as being in violation. Other penalties may also be applied depending on the nature of the charge and the jurisdiction handling the matter.
Do I Need to Consult a Criminal Attorney?
Sex offender registration can be difficult to understand and the laws get more intricate if you plan to change residence. Different cities, towns and states all have different registration procedures and violating any of them can be punishable by prison time. To ensure compliance with the registration laws in your community, consulting a criminal attorney is recommended.
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Last Modified: 01-26-2015 03:21 PM PST
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