Sex crimes are a very serious matter and should never be treated lightly. However, many times, a person is charged and convicted of a sex crime when the actual wrongdoing was minimal, such as sexting with a girlfriend or having sex with a younger classmate. These offenses may lead to mandatory registration as a sex offender, which will change the course of a person’s life.
Once a person has registered as a sex offender, he or she may discover that many different doors now are closed. In addition, registered sex offenders are restricted from living in certain areas or working in various fields. A sex offender also may have to notify neighbors of the registry status when moving into a new area, which often leads to terrible harassment. Even a person who was convicted of a sex crime outside of the State of Georgia must register when he moves into the state.
Some of the crimes that lead to a sex offender registration include:
- A sexually-based offense involving a minor child – this has been extended to include kidnapping and/or false imprisonment;
- Sexual exploitation;
- Child pornography, which may include creation, distribution, publication, or possession;
- Aggravated sexual assault; and
A person who is convicted of a crime that qualifies for sex offender registration will be classified based on the severity of the crime and an assessment of the risk that this person poses with regard to whether or not he is likely to re-offend. There are low-level offenders who may be able to get off the registry quickly after fulfilling the terms of their sentence. This is critically important in order to escape the negative consequences of being on the sex offender registry.
A relatively recent change to the sex offender registration law (2010) allows a Level I (low-level) offender to petition to be removed from the list as soon as he or she has fulfilled the terms of incarceration or sentencing, including serving out the time on parole or probation, complying with all registration requirements, and meeting all supervision criteria. Under the previous provisions of the law, a person had to wait 10 years to petition for removal from the registration.
One of the first steps is to get a risk assessment if that was not done as part of the conviction process. There is a Sex Offender Registration Review Board that will be ordered by the court as part of the petition process to assess the individual. The case only will proceed to a hearing before the court if the individual is classified as a Level I offender. If the classification comes back as a Level II offender, which is deemed to be moderate risk, the individual will have to wait 10 years from the time the sentence was served completely before seeking removal from the registration. A person does have the right to contest the classification level.
In order to receive release from the registration requirement, a person must meet the following requirements:
- The person must not have any other convictions for sex crimes or for crimes involving minors;
- The person must not have used a dangerous weapon during the commission of the crime;
- The person must not have transported the victim between locations;
- The person must not have restrained the victim physically;
- The person must not have harmed the victim intentionally during the commission of the crime; and
- There must not be any history of similar offenses that did not result in charges or convictions.
Being labeled as a sex offender can change a person’s life forever. It is critical to fight against charges that carry this likelihood as zealously as possible.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Fights for its Clients
Any type of sexually-based crime carries with it the potential for incarceration and heavy fines, but when there is a possibility of being required to register as a sex offender, it is crucial to have the best possible defense. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. will fight tenaciously to protect your rights. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.