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What are the effects of being added to the sex offender registry?

In 1996, the Federal Bureau of Investigation instigated a database to keep track of convicted sex offenders. Registration was based on convictions of:

  • Sexual offenses against minors
  • Sexually violent acts
  • Predatory sexual actions

The purpose of this monitoring was (and is) to prevent offenders from causing further harm to others. However, over the last 20 years, registration has meant more than just “keeping tabs.” Information about criminal sex convictions in the hands of the public has created several additional consequences. Many believe that these consequences are justified for public safety—after all, offenders should have thought about the consequences before they hurt someone. However, not all registered offenders are actually guilty, and some are guilty of minor offenses, yet they still have to endure the same consequences as rapists and child molesters.

Consequences of Being on the Sex Offender Registry

No matter what the cause of the sex offense charge, once you’re convicted you’re branded a sexual offender. You will be required to register and remain registered until the court states otherwise (in some cases you may be required to stay registered for life). However, even if your registration is temporary, the label, and consequences of that label, will remain.

Some of the consequences include:

  • Registering requirements. Although the sex offender registry was initially created for federal use, each state now has its own database in which to keep track of registered citizens. This means that every time you relocate to a different state you’ll be required to re-register on their database as well as become subject to that state’s laws regarding sex offenders.
  • Restricted residency. Most states prohibit sex offenders from living within a certain distance of gathering places for children such as parks, schools, daycare centers, and playgrounds. As a result, it may be difficult to find housing that meets all of your requirements while also taking your personal needs into account.
  • Restricted employment. In addition to housing restrictions, most states also limit where a sex offender can work. For instance, anywhere near the following places may be restricted: schools, clothing stores (with changing rooms), salons or spas, as well as in positions of power over someone else (doctor, psychiatrist, etc.).
  • Loss of child custody. No matter what your conviction was for, if registered as a sex offender your ex can use the registration as a reason to deny you custody of your children, stating that you may be a danger to your own child.
  • Decreased privacy. Since the registry is meant to keep tabs on past offenders, privacy is extremely limited.
  • Bias, prejudice, and intolerance. Once convicted and registered, family, friends, and acquaintances may view you as a threat or at the very least an outcast. Some may even become withdrawn or abusive (mentally and physically).

Fighting to Preserve Your Reputation and Future

Once you’re branded as a sex offender, there is no turning back. This is why it is extremely important to get the help you need before it’s too late. Contact us at 888-386-3898 to see how our extensive experience and determination can protect your rights and help you avoid a darkened future. Your name and reputation are important. Allow us the chance to protect them from being sullied. Contact us today!

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Easley Law Firm

  • 10521 Judicial Drive
    Suite 205

    Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: 703-865-6610
  • Fax: 703-842-6101
  • Toll Free: 888-386-3898
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