Sex Offenses Law

Can I Get My Name Removed from the Sex Offender Registry?

Key Takeaways:

  • Some sex crime convictions require you to register as a sex offender.
  • You might be able to get off the registry, depending on where you live.
  • A lawyer can help you understand if you can be removed from the list.

This content contains sensitive subject matter related to legal defense for crimes of a sexual nature.

When someone is convicted of certain sex offenses, they must register as a sex offender. Depending on the type of crime, sex offender registration may be required for the rest of their lives. Failure to follow sex offender registration requirements can have additional penalties.

Being on the state sex offender registry can harm your reputation and limit your job opportunities. In some cases, you may be able to get your name removed from the sex offender registry. Talk to a local sex crimes attorney about eligibility for getting your name off the registry.

What Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration?

Anyone who commits a sexual offense faces the possibility of registering as a sexual offender. In 2006, Congress passed the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The law established a national system for the registration and notification to the public of convicted sex offenders.

The types of crimes that require sex offender registration depend on the state. Generally, sexual crimes that require registration include offenses that have an element involving a sexual act or sexual contact with another. Qualifying sex offenses can include:

Some criminal offenses don’t need to involve a sexual nature to require registration, including child kidnapping.

How Long Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

The time period for registration depends on the criminal offense and state law. California is one of a few states that require sex offenders to register for the rest of their lives.

In some states, sex offenders are categorized by tier, from Tier 1 to Tier 3. For example, in Pennsylvania, Tier 1 offenders must register for 15 years. Tier 2 offenders have to register for 25 years. Tier 3 offenses require lifetime registration.

Can the Sex Offender Registry Hurt My Job?

The state sex offender registries are public and searchable by just about anyone. Depending on the state and the criminal record, the registries can list the offender’s name, address, criminal history, and even a photograph. A prospective employer could find out about your sex crimes by doing a state sex offender search.

Sex offenders may have a harder time finding jobs because of their criminal record. Sex offenders can also be limited in where they can work because they cannot be within a certain distance of schools and parks. Offenders may also be limited by jobs where they do not work with children.

Can a Name Be Removed from a Registry?

Some registered sex offenders can have their names removed from the list, but this depends on the state and the type of offense.

For example, in Texas, an individual’s name may be removed 10 years after the criminal case has been concluded. Typically, the clock starts after a person has been released from custody or ended their parole. Most states have similar laws for sexual offenders.

States may use a risk assessment to determine which individuals are sexual predators at risk of reoffending. Generally, sexually violent predators have to register for life and will not be able to petition to have their names removed from the registry.

What Is the Process for Removal?

In most states, an individual has to petition the state government to get their name off the sex offender list. In California, an offender must submit a form to be excluded from Megan’s Law, which allows information about a sex offender and the nature of the crime to be posted online for public viewing.

When a petition is received, authorities in the state must review the case to determine if an individual is likely to commit further offenses. If the individual has a low risk for reoffending, they may be able to have their name taken off the list.

How Is the Registry Maintained?

As a general rule, it is up to the sexual offender to provide accurate and timely information about their whereabouts to relevant state agencies. If an offender doesn’t update state law enforcement, officers may take steps to locate the offender. In some cases, the public can inform law enforcement about any inaccurate information they find relating to a sexual offender in a state.

How Often Is the Sex Offender Registry Updated?

In most states, the registry is updated once new information is received and verified. For instance, the registry in Georgia is updated daily, and state law requires that new information be placed on the list within two business days after it is received. Florida updates its registry in real-time as information becomes available.

Seeking a Capable Attorney

Those who have been convicted of sexual offenses can face a variety of restrictions that may make it difficult to live everyday life. If you face sex crime charges, find a criminal defense attorney who understands sex crimes and sex offender registration laws.

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