Sex Offender Registry Penalties

In most states, there exist very specific laws regarding sex offender registry. If a person has been convicted of a sex crime and fails to heed any of these provisions, he or she may be charged with further crimes. Therefore, it is important anyone charges with a sex crime to be familiar with all aspects of the law to avoid additional charges.

For example, Rhode Island law states that any person who has been convicted of a sex crime and is required to register as a sex offender and who knowingly fails to register, verify an address, or give notice of a change of address faces:

  • A felony charge
  • Imprisonment of up to ten years
  • Fine of up to $10,000

A person who commits these actions is in violation of the terms of his or her release from incarceration, even if he or she was on probation, on parole, under home confinement, or under another form of supervised release. Additionally, state law prohibits anyone who is required to register or verify his or her address from residing within three hundred feet of any public or private school. If convicted on this charge, the person faces:

  • A felony charge
  • Up to five years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000

Any person who has been charged with a sex crime is still under the jurisdiction of strict laws and provisions, even after he or she has served jail time and been released from prison. It is important for anyone that has been charged with this type of offense to understand the regulations he or she is legally obligated to follow to avoid further charges.

Can I Be Removed From the Megan’s Law Registry?

If you’re charged with child sexual assault, a conviction can lead to prison time, lifetime parole and, most seriously, registration on the sex offender registry known as Megan’s Law. Registration on this list severely restricts your life, including limits on where you might work or live. Your photograph may even be posted online in an Internet database, stigmatizing you further and possibly making you vulnerable to harassment — even if you have served your time.

However, what you may not know is that Megan’s Law allows for different tiers of classification. These tiers, from low risk to high risk, can drastically effect the consequences of Megan’s Law on your life. Your defense attorney works to not only get you classified on the lowest tier possible, but also get you removed from Megan’s List as soon as the law allows.

How Megan’s Law Works

Enacted in 1994, Megan’s Law is named for Megan Kanka, who was raped and murdered in Hamilton, New Jersey by a neighbor who happened to be a previous sex offender. This law requires convicted sex offenders to register on a list, notifying their neighbors and community of their sex offender status. If you don’t register, you’re likely looking at additional jail time and other penalties.

Here are some common questions defense attorneys often hear regarding Megan’s Law:

• Who has to register on the sex offender list? Anyone who’s been found guilty of child sexual assault or any other child-related sex crime must register. You’ll be classified as Tier I (low-risk), Tier II (moderate risk), or Tier (III) high risk. You’re also entitled to a hearing before final classification.

• What do the Tiers mean? A Tier I classification means law enforcement is notified of your status. Tier II means law enforcement, schools, day care centers, summer camps, and registered community organizations are also notified. Tier III notifies all of these plus the general public.

• Are juvenile sex offenders required to register? Yes.

• What if I move to another address? You must report your change of address to local police at least 10 days prior to your move.

• Will I be on Megan’s List forever? You can file an application for removal after 15 years of good behavior. Your criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey can do this on your behalf.

Removal from the Sex Offender Registry

Megan’s Law is a great asset to law enforcement officials in preventing repeat child sexual assault offenses. However, what if you were wrongly accused of sexual assault? Or, what happens if you have served your time? Is it fair to be stigmatized and punished for the rest of your life? This is especially critical if you are (or were) a juvenile at the time of your conviction. It may feel like you have no options, but your defense attorney can help.

If, after 15 years, you have not committed an offense after release from incarceration or after conviction, you can petition for removal from the Megan’s Law sex offender registry. Your lawyer will work with you and a qualified psychologist to file this petition, and show the courts you are not a threat to the community. If an offender was under 14 years old when charged with child sexual assault, he or she can be eligible for petition at age 18, depending on the circumstances of the offense. Removal from the list allows you to move on with your life without embarrassment or stigma, and gives you a chance to start over.

A Megan’s Law Defense Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one is charged with any sex crime, you don’t have to suffer for the rest of your life. Whether you made a terrible, one-time mistake or were wrongly accused of sexual assault, a sympathetic lawyer can help you with your case.

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Help for Sex Offenders Charged With Failing to Register

Florida law mandates that person(s) convicted of a felony sex crime must immediately register with the local authorities and must provide them the required information — and it must be accurate. Be advised that if you do not comply with this law, officers of the law can arrest you, and you may ultimately face further incarceration. Moreover, if a felony sex offender fails to register, that could be an additional felony charge.

So, if you are uncertain about what your rights and/ or are confused about what your responsibilities are in regard to being complicit with Florida state laws, it would be prudent of you to seek the counsel of a Florida Sex Crimes Attorney. These skilled attorneys are well versed when it comes to the law dealing with sex offenders and would be able to offer sound counsel in this regard.

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and can land you back in jail.

It is also important to note that there are two classifications of sex offenders in the state of Florida: sexual predators and sexual offenders. Although they are regarded differently by governing bodies, the punishments for each are the same. The major difference is sexual offenders only have to register twice a year, whereas sexual predators must register four times a year. Again, if you have any questions about your registration requirements you should talk to a Florida Sex Crimes lawyer for clarity and to avoid getting into more trouble because the consequences for failing to register are severe.

A sex crimes lawyer can help you and advise you of your rights within the community and explain where you can reside, including counseling you about what to do if you move to another area in Florida or even out of state. After your release from prison, or if you are placed on probation, your window of opportunity to register is very small. If you are found in violation, the penalty could be prison time — up to five years and, in some situations, 15 years. So, it is vital that you stay on top of these required registers in order to avoid further charges.

However, if for whatever reason, you fail to register as required in the state of Florida, it is critical that you contact a Florida Sex Crimes Attorney as soon as possible. The firm does offer free case evaluations and consultations at various offices throughout the state.

The Crime of Statutory Rape in Tennessee

Tennessee’s statutory rape law is found in Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 5 of the Tennessee Code Annotated. It is a complex offense that contains numerous elements and criminalizes many different activities, and the penalties can be harsh.

There are actually three types of this offense in Tennessee: mitigated statutory rape, statutory rape, and aggravated statutory rape. They all require the act of unlawful sexual penetration where the victim is less than 18 years old and the defendant is at least four years older. “Unlawful sexual penetration” can mean many different types of sexual activity.

The ages of the victim and defendant will determine the classification. Mitigated SR is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant, or of the defendant by the victim, when the victim is at least 15 but less than 18 years of age and the defendant is at least four but not more than five years older than the victim.

Statutory rape is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when 1) the victim is at least 13 but less than 15 years of age and the defendant is at least four years but less than ten years older than the victim; or 2) the victim is at least 15 but less than 18 and the defendant is more than five but less than ten years older than the victim.

Aggravated SR is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant, or of the defendant by the victim, when the victim is at least 13 but less than 18 years of age and the defendant is at least 10 years older than the victim.

Mitigated and regular statutory rape are both Class E felonies. An E felony in Tennessee is punishable from 1-6 years. Aggravated SR is a Class D felony, punishable from 2-12 years. Please contact a Memphis sex crimes lawyer for more information on these penalties.

Another type of crime is statutory rape by an authority figure. This is defined as unlawful sexual penetration when the victim is between 13 and 17, the defendant is at least four years older, and the defendant is in a position of trust, or supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim and uses that trust or power to accomplish the sex act. It can also be when the defendant has parental or custodial authority over the victim and uses that authority to accomplish the sex act. Statutory rape by an authority figure is a Class C felony punishable from 3-15 years.

Two of the biggest questions for an individual charged with this crime in Tennessee are going to be 1) Will it require going on the sex offender registry list, and 2) Can it be removed from my record? A conviction for aggravated SR does require registry on the sex offender list. Tennessee’s sex offender registry laws are in Title 40, Chapter 39, Part 2 of the Tennessee Code. A conviction for mitigated and regular statutory rape require registration only if the defendant has a prior conviction for SR (this includes any of the three classifications). Thus, if the charge is not aggravated statutory rape and the defendant has no prior convictions for SR, registry on the sex offender list is not required. Statutory rape by an authority figure is defined as a violent sex offense and requires registration for life.

This is a diversion-eligible offense, which means a defendant who is otherwise qualified for diversion may have the chance to remove the charge from their record. All three classifications of SR are eligible, but statutory rape by an authority figure is not.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about statutory rape is that it’s a strict liability crime. It requires no culpable mental state. It is no defense if the defendant believes the victim is of the proper age. All that is needed is to commit the act.