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Sex Offender Registry: Can I Get My Name Removed?

Those who have been convicted of a sex offense may be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives. This can lead to major personal and professional repercussions. If an offender doesn't register on a sex offender list as required, there could additional penalties.

Can Being Registered Affect My Job?

It is possible that those who have been convicted of a sexual offense will have a more difficult time finding or keeping employment. However, employers may be required to do an individual assessment on sex offenders who apply for a job. For instance, New York employers must determine on their own if hiring someone with a criminal past would put that worker or others in danger.

Different states have different laws regarding sexual offenses. In the state of Illinois, for example, a registered sex offender can't live within 500 feet of a school or any other location where minors may receive education-related services. They can also be banned from spending time at public parks. This could prevent an offender from obtaining certain park- or school-related jobs. Illinois sex offenders are also barred from using social media, which may hinder their ability to find work.

Can a Name Be Removed from a Registry?

It is possible for a registered sex offender to have his or her name removed from the list. However, this largely depends on the state in which the person is registered and the type of offense committed. For instance, in New York state, those who are not thought to be a sexual predator may ask the state to drop the requirement to register after 30 years.

In the state of Texas, an individual's name may be removed 10 years after the criminal case against that person has been concluded. Typically, the clock starts after a person has been released from custody or has concluded his or her parole. Most states have similar laws for sexual offenders.

However, those living in Texas will remain on the sex offender registry for life if they have been convicted of a violent crime or were engaged in human trafficking. If an individual is considered a minor under Texas law when a sexual offense occurs, he or she would be required to register for 10 years.

What Is the Process for Removal?

In most states, an individual has to petition the state government to get his or her name off its 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 for relief or a similar form is received, authorities in the state must review the case to determine if an individual is likely to commit further offenses. If the answer to that question is no, then an individual will likely be removed from the list. In some cases, an offender will receive a change in classification, which may remove restrictions related to where that person can go or work.

What Crimes Does the Registry Cover?

As a general rule, anyone who commits a sexual offense may face the possibility of registering as a sexual offender. In New York, an offender may have to register after committing sexual acts against a minor, raping another individual or patronizing a prostitute.

It is also possible to be placed on a sexual offender registry for having child pornography or acting in an indecent manner toward a child. This may be true even if no physical or sexual contact occurred. Those who expose themselves to others in public without consent could also be required to register as a sex offender.

Finally, registry-level offenses cover acts that involve getting a person drunk or otherwise impaired to commit a sexual act against their will. It is important to note that rape or sexual assault may occur regardless of whether a victim made any physical attempt to avoid the activity.

How Is the Registry Maintained?

As a general rule, it is up to the sexual offender to provide accurate and timely information about his or her whereabouts to relevant state agencies. In the event that an individual fails to do so, state law enforcement may be required to take reasonable steps to locate the offender. In some cases, the public can inform law enforcement about any inaccurate information that they find relating to a sexual offender in a state.

How Often Is the Registry Updated?

In most states, the registry is updated as soon as new information is received and verified. For instance, the registry in Georgia is updated daily, and state law requires that new information be placed onto the list within two business days after it is received. Florida also updates its registry in real-time as information becomes available. California's sex offender registry, meanwhile, is updated each day.

Those who have been convicted of sexual offenses can face a variety of restrictions that may make it difficult to live a normal life. Therefore, those who have been charged with such crimes may find it worthwhile to consult with an attorney who could help to create a legal defense strategy. If a person has been convicted of a sex crime, an attorney could provide assistance in getting his or her name removed from the offender registry.

Speak to an Experienced Sex Crime Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified sex crime lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local sex crime attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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