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Registered Sex Offender Laws

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What Is a Registered Sex Offender?

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.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2007 has implemented a new requirement for sex offender registrations throughout each state that makes it mandatory for sex offenders to be required to register a physical address with the police

What Criminal Charges Can Result In becoming a Registered Sex Offender?

Criminal charges that requires a person to register as a sexual offender is a person who has committed a sex crime. Some states even include public urination charge as a sex crime. These sex crimes can include sexual assault, sexual conduct with minors, sending or receiving obscene content through text, email, etc, child molestation, voyeurism, possession of child pornography, sexual contact without consent, and in some states public urination.

According to U.S federal law, criminal charges that can result in becoming a Registered Sex Offender is:

  • Sexual Act constituted as sexual penetration between defendant and victim
  • Sexual contact of touching in sexual natural

Why Do Registered Sex Offenders Have to Register Their Addresses?

The purpose of a sex offender registry or database 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.

Since sex offenses are generally classified as felonies, sex offender registration can result in the loss rights and privileges like:

  • Being able to work in certain places
  • Restrictions on being on or near school zones
  • Restrictions on being near the victim (restraining orders)
  • Loss of other privileges such as driving privileges or the right to own a firearm

Which Laws Govern Registered Offenders?

There are many different state and federal laws governing registered offenders.  One of the main laws governing registered offenders is the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act Law, or SONRA. 

Other similar laws include “Megan’s Law”, which is the name given to the collective body of state registered offender laws.  Since they are state laws, a statute referred to as “Megan’s Law” can be different from region to region.  For example, in California, a registered offender must re-register every 90 days if the conviction involved a violent sexual act.

Can I Get a Job as a Sexual Registered Offender?

In terms of employment, persons that are registered sex offenders cannot be discriminated against employment purposes. However, since many sex offenders have restrictions that prevent them from being in certain areas that are close to day cares, schools, parks, and in general presence of minors, employers must take into account the restrictions prior to employment. In addition, certain jobs are that involve children are also restricted since the sex offender could reasonably expect to have direct contact with children on daily basis.

Why Does The Public Have Access to Sex Offenders Information?

Federal and state community laws give the public an easy access to significant information about sexual offenders This information includes criminal convictions, current address, and picture. Some states provide license number and place of current employment.

A sex offenders information is made available to the general public after they register as a sex offender because it is intended for a means of public protection. Knowledge whether a person is a registered sex offender within someones neighborhood is a significant factor in protection of a person, their family, and their children.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Registered Offender Laws?

If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding registered offender laws, you may wish to hire a criminal lawyer for assistance.  Your lawyer can help inform you of how such laws work, and can represent you in court if a legal claim arises.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can also provide counseling for registered offenders to ensure that they are complying with registration requirements. 

Photo of page author Kourosh Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 10-10-2016 05:09 PM PDT

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