If you have been charged with a sex offense, you may be required to register as a sex offender if you are convicted. A registered sex offender is someone who has been convicted of a criminal sexual act that requires registration under local, state, or federal laws. These offenses can include both misdemeanors and felonies. Getting help from an experienced criminal defense attorney at DiCindio Law when you are facing sex crime charges might allow you to fight against the charges and possibly avoid a conviction and registration requirement.
What are the registered sex offender levels?
The nature of the crime, the specific offense that was committed, the age of the victim, and the offender’s propensity to commit a sex offense in the future will all be factored into determining the registered sex offender level. Federal laws have been enacted that establish the tier system for sex offenses based on specific criteria. States are likewise able to enact stricter laws but cannot enact laws that are less stringent than the federal laws for sex offense levels for the registry.
In 2007, the Adam Walsh Act was passed by Congress. This law established criteria for the classification of sex offenders. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act was contained in Title I of the Act and requires all U.S. states to conform the state registration laws to the federal guidelines or face penalties. The assigned tier corresponds to the specific conviction for which an offender is sentenced. Because of plea bargaining, it might not reflect the entirety of the crime that was committed or the risk of repeated offenses.
Level 1 or Tier I offenses are the lowest level of sex offenses. These typically involve non-violent sex offenses with people who are not minors. People who are convicted of Tier I sex offenses must register on the Sexual Offender Registry for at least 15 years and report for verification annually.
Level 2 or Tier II offenses are also generally non-violent but involve minors. These offenses require people who are convicted to register as sex offenders for at least 25 years and report for verification twice per year.
Level 3 or Tier III offenses are considered to be the most serious. This category includes people who have been convicted of violent or non-violent offenses with adults or minors. If you are convicted of a tier III offense, you will have to register on the Sexual Offender Registry for the rest of your life and to report for verification four times per year.
Convictions that can result in sex offender registration
Under federal law, Tier I sexual offenses include the following types of crimes:
- Public indecency
- Possession of child porn
- Sexual contact without the victim’s consent
Tier II sexual offenses can include the following crimes:
- Second sexual offenses committed by Tier I sex offenders
- Transporting minors for sexual purposes
- Trafficking minors for sexual purposes
- Intimidation to get a victim to engage in sexual activity
- Bribing a victim to engage in sexual activity
- Sexual acts or contact with children aged 12 to 15
- Sex offenses by a person in a position of authority over the victim, including teachers, babysitters, guardians, parents, coaches, foster parents, and others
- Prostituting minors
- Producing or distributing child pornography
- Attempts or plans to commit the above offenses
Tier III sexual offenses include the following types:
- New offenses committed by Tier II sex offenders
- Most types of sexual assaults
- Sex acts using force or duress
- Sex acts with an unconscious or impaired victim
- Sex acts with children younger than age 12
- Sex acts with victims who cannot consent because of disability or mental impairment
- Sex acts with victims who cannot physically say no
- Sex acts perpetrated after the victim says no
- Attempts or plans to commit one of the above-listed offenses
Restrictions that registered sex offenders face
Some states have different types of restrictions for registered sex offenders. Some states require offenders to register their names and addresses while others also restrict where they can live. Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law does not have restrictions on where sex offenders can live. However, some offenders may be restricted from living near parks, schools, or daycare centers while they are on probation or parole. Some offenders may be restricted from being around children under the age of 18, including their children.
Employers are not supposed to discriminate against people because they have been convicted of crimes. However, employers are required to consider the restrictions that are placed on sexual offenders. For example, if an offender is prohibited from being in contact with minors, he or she will not be able to work in a place where such contact is likely.
In the U.S., the Sex Offender Registry can be accessed by the public. From the national website, people can follow links to each state registry. Pennsylvania includes multiple types of information about sex offenders on its registry, including the following:
- Name and aliases
- Birth year
- Residential street addresses
- Location information about where homeless or transient sex offenders are typically found
- Address where a sex offender attends school
- Address where a sex offender works
- Offender’s physical description
- Offender’s identifying marks
- Description of vehicles owned by the offender with license plate numbers
- Information about whether the offender is compliant
- Whether the victim was under age 18
- Description of the offense for which the offender has to register
- Conviction date
- When the offender first registered and the dates of updates
- If possible, maps of the offender’s residence, work, and school
Since the public can access this information, sex offenders can have a difficult time finding employment and places to live.
Contact DiCindio Law
If you have been charged with a sex offense, a conviction could have a permanent impact on your life. You should talk to an experienced sex crimes attorney at DiCindio Law about your options as soon as possible. Schedule a consultation today by filling out our contact form or calling us at 610.430.3535.