Some version of a national sex offender registry has been in place in the United States since 1996. The purpose of the database is to keep tabs on convicted sex offenders so that law enforcement can track their movements and to inform local communities of potential danger. Initially, the registry included:
- Convicted criminals who are guilty of causing an offense against a minor
- Criminals convicted of a sexually violent offense
- Sexually violent predators
However, in some states, misdemeanors that do not threaten the safety of others have landed people on the sex offender registry. You may be surprised to learn what some of these offenses are.
Non-Violent Crimes That Could Land You on the Registry
Every state has the authority to determine what actions constitute an offense and what the punishment is for that offense. Unfortunately, this means that in some states, a simple miscommunication or poor judgement on your behalf could land you on the national sex offender registry.
Although rape, child molestation, and incest are clearly considered offenses across the board, some states’ non-violent offenses include:
- Taking nude photos of yourself and posting them in a public forum
- Visiting a prostitute
- Urinating in public
- Indecent exposure
- Having consensual sexual relations with a person under 18 years old, regardless of your age
- Showing excessive affection to a minor (A 13-year-old Colorado boy was forced to register after reportedly giving “too many hugs” to a girl at his school.)
Regrettably, these are only a few actions that could brand you as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Virginia’s take on sex offenses are more focused on violence and sexual misconduct. However, if a conviction in another state caused you to register, it will follow you wherever you go.
Make sure your past actions don’t haunt you forever by contacting Darwyn Easley toll free at 888-386-3898. His experience and skill with criminal law defense can help you not only prepare a solid defense but also give you the advice you need to overcome the effects of a conviction. Call now!