Back in 1996, the Federal Bureau of Investigation established a database to track convicted sex offenders, and the list has been used ever since for that exact purpose. Registration was based on convictions for the following offences:
- Against children, sexual offences
- Acts of sexual violence
- Sexual predatory behaviour
Sure, the meanings and definitions have evolved over the years, but the goal of this tracking and monitoring method has remained the same. Keep offenders from harming others.
Over the last 20 years, however, registration has meant more than merely keeping track of things.
The public’s access to information regarding criminal sex offences has resulted in a number of extra implications. Many people believe that these penalties are acceptable in the interest of public safety—after all, offenders should have considered the repercussions before injuring someone.
However, not all registered offenders are guilty, and some are just charged with lesser charges, but they still face the same penalties as rapists and child molesters. This is a bit of a grey area that still needs some work, but while this happens, there’s no denying that people labelled as sex offenders, whether rightly or wrongly, have their lives changed in endless ways.
In today’s guide, we’re exploring what these changes are and how they life-changing they can be and why you need to get yourself the right sex crime attorney for you!
Being on the Sex Offender Registry Has Consequences
Whatever the reason for the sex offence charge, if you are convicted, you will be labelled a sexual offender. You must register and remain registered until the court orders you to do otherwise (in some cases, you may be required to stay registered for life). Even if your registration is only temporary, the label and its implications will stay with you.
The following are some of the consequences you could experience:
Conditions for Registering
Despite the fact that the sex offender registry was originally designed for federal use, each state today has its own database to track registered citizens. This means you’ll have to re-register on their database every time you move to a new state, and you’ll be subject to the rules in that state addressing sex offenders.
Most states make it illegal for sex offenders to live within a set distance of children’s gathering places like parks, schools, daycare centres, and playgrounds. As a result, finding housing that fulfils all of your standards while also considering your unique wants may be tough.
Restricted Employment Opportunities
Most states place restrictions on where a sex offender can work in addition to housing restrictions. For example, anywhere near schools, clothes stores (with changing rooms), salons or spas, as well as in positions of influence over someone else, may be forbidden (doctor, psychiatrist, etc.).
Child Custody Differences
Your ex-partner can use your registration as a sex offender as a cause to deny you custody of your children, claiming that you are a danger to your own child, regardless of what your conviction was for.
Because the registry’s purpose is to keep track of previous offenders, privacy is severely restricted.
Social Prejudice, bias, and intolerance.
Family, friends, and acquaintances may perceive you as a menace or, at the absolute least, an outcast once you’ve been convicted and registered. Some people may become withdrawn or abusive as a result of their experiences (mentally and physically).
There’s no going back once you’ve been labelled a sex offender. This is why it is critical that you seek assistance before it is too late, and you need to think about making sure you’re doing what you can to avoid being put on the list, especially if you’re falsely accused, but this will require getting some professional assistance that can help you with your case.