One of the consequences of being convicted of sex offense crimes is that you might be required to register on the National Sex Offenders Registry. Registration is usually required for those convicted of a criminal offense involving a minor or a violent sex crime such as rape or sexual assault. Being forced to register can create huge obstacles and changes in your life, which is why staying off the list is an important part of many criminal defense strategies.
If you are listed in the national or state databases, which house identical information, then your name and address are public record. That means anyone can search for your name in the database to see if you have a conviction history with regard to sex crimes. It also means that individual in your neighborhood — or employers you have applied with — can search for the same information.
Being listed in the database can mean your employment options are limited. It also means that neighbors might treat you differently if they find out you are listed — regardless of what the circumstances around your conviction actually are. The databases make fairly little distinction between certain types of sex crimes.
Sex offender registration also means that you have to make it a point to inform law enforcement if you move states. Failing to do so could be a violation of any probation or land you back in jail. By working with a criminal law professional, you can protect your interests during criminal defense and reduce the chance you’ll end up on the list. If you do end up on the list, understanding your legal rights is important for a stable future.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Sex Offender Registry Websites,” accessed March 10, 2017