Convicted sex offenders face a number of life-altering penalties, including sex offender registration, and heightened interest by local law enforcement, especially if registered sex offenders move into a neighborhood where someone learns their criminal history by accessing a law website.
Let’s take a look at which sex offenders are required to register, and what registration means.
Who Is Required to Register as a Sex Offender?
Each state has different standards about which crimes require sex offender registry, but in most states, forcible rape and sexual crimes involving children such as sexual assault, child molestation, and child kidnapping meet the standard.
Other crimes that often require registration include sending or receiving obscene material via email or text, possession of child pornography, and voyeurism.
In some states, sexual contact between relatives, sodomy, and public urination also require registration as a sex offender.
And in California, for example, there is a registration requirement for people that are arrested and convicted of indecent exposure.
Megan’s Law California, which was passed in 1996, mandates that:
- California Department of Justice (COJ) and the Office of the Attorney General Must Notify the Public about Specified Registered Sex Offenders
- Local Law Enforcement Agencies Must Notify the Public about Sex Offenders That Pose a Public Risk.
Persons required to register in California as sex offenders are listed on the California Sex and Arson Registry website. People that access this website can find a physical address for convicted sex offenders, and whether they are in violation of registration requirements.
In addition, registered offenders in California must register every three months if they were convicted of a violent sexual crime.
Many other states have created their own version of Megan’s Law websites to help people know the registered sex offenders that may be living in their communities.
What Are the Consequences of Being a Registered Sex Offender?
Many sexual offenses are felonies, so the consequences of being a registered sex offender can include:
- Being Unable to Get Certain Jobs
- School Zone/Daycare/Public Park Restrictions
- Restrictions on Having Contact With or Being Near the Victim (for crimes like rape and molestation).
- Restrictions on Firearm Ownership
It’s important to remember that no employer can discriminate against a sexual offender, although a person’s character is often a deciding factor in hiring.
How Long Do Sex Offenders Remain on the Registry?
In many states, a specific category of registered sex offenders is allowed to come off the list after a certain number of years.
In California, there is a three-tiered registration system, with the lowest level sex offenders (misdemeanors, indecent exposure) remaining on the list for 10 years.
Tier two offenders with mid-level offenses remain on the list for 20 years, and tier three offenders (rape, sodomy, sex trafficking) remain on the list for a lifetime.
Hiring An Experienced Defense Lawyer
For more than 30 years, the Elden Law Group has defended clients against sexual offenses. We know how to negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your charges, or to determine if a trial is in your best interest. Please call us today at 888-991-9353 to schedule a free consultation about your case.