In Pennsylvania, people who are convicted of certain types of sex offenses are required to register as sex offenders. The state’s registration laws divides sex offenders into three categories based on the risk of re-offending as determined by a sex offender evaluation that people must undergo after they have been convicted of a qualifying sex offense. Depending on the offense of conviction, people may have to register as sex offenders from 15 years for tier I, 25 years for tier II, or life for tier III. People who are required to register as sex offenders but who fail to follow the registration laws exactly may face severe consequences, including convictions of new criminal offenses. If you are a registered sex offender and have been charged with a sex offender registration crime in Pennsylvania, you should seek help from DiCindio Law in West Chester.
Registered sex offenders
Registered sex offenders include people who have been convicted of sex offenses under state laws or federal laws. This includes people who were convicted of sex offenses in states other than Pennsylvania who have subsequently relocated to the state. In most cases, sex offenders must provide their names, addresses, and other personal information to authorities to be added to government databases that are called sex offender registries. They must also promptly update their information whenever they relocate or remain in different areas beyond a specified length of time such as for work. Sex offenders may also have additional reporting requirements with which they must comply that will depend on their assessed levels of risk. Many different types of criminal offenses require convicted people to register.
Criminal offenses that can lead to sex offender registration in Pennsylvania
People who are convicted of sex crimes in Pennsylvania are required to register as sex offenders. Many different offenses under both state and federal law will require people who are convicted of them to register as sex offenders. Some serious offenses that will require registration include the following:
- Indecent exposure
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Promoting prostitution of a minor
- Enticement or coercion
In Pennsylvania, you may be charged with indecent exposure for urinating in public in some cases, which might result in your being required to register as a sex offender. In addition to Pennsylvania’s laws, convictions of certain offenses under federal law can also result in sex offender registration. You may still be required to comply with the sex offender registration requirements long after you have completed your probationary or jail sentence.
Loss of rights
Many sex crimes in Pennsylvania are felonies. This means that if you are convicted of one of these offenses, you may end up having a felony conviction on your record. Convicted felons of violent offenses may not own or possess firearms. Having a conviction of this nature on your record may also prevent you from borrowing student loans to attend college. When you are registered as a sex offender, you may face other restrictions that are related to the crime. You might be restricted from being near anyone who is younger than age 18 and to the victim of the offense. You may also be restricted from working in certain types of jobs. If your offense involved a minor, the court might order that you do not have contact with anyone younger than 18, including your minor children.
Why sex offenders are required to register their names and addresses
States like Pennsylvania have sex offender registries to provide notice to other people in the community of the names and addresses of registered sex offenders who live in their neighborhoods or who work with them. Sex offender registries are intended to protect the public.
The public can access the information on the state’s sex offender registry. The information will include the following types of information:
- All names used
- Birth year
- Street address of where the offender lives
- Street address where an offender attends school
- Locations that a transient sex offender regularly sleeps
- Street address of the offender’s workplace
- Picture of the offender
- Physical description of the offender
- Identifying marks
- License plate number and type of vehicle the offender drives
- The offense of conviction and a description of it
- Information about whether the offense involved a minor
- The conviction date
- Laws that apply to registered sex offenders
What Laws Govern Registered Sex Offenders?
Every state has sex offender registration laws, including Pennsylvania. Several federal laws apply to registered sex offenders. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2007 required sex offenders to register their addresses with law enforcement.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act or SORNA makes failing to register as a sex offender or to update the registration a crime. If you have been convicted under Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration laws, you can also be prosecuted under federal laws if you fail to register when you travel to other states or countries. Violating SORNA can result in up to 10 years of incarceration and fines.
Megan’s Law is the name that has been given to state sex offender registration laws, including Pennsylvania’s law. The requirements of Megan’s Law may vary from state to state. You can read more about Megan’s Law in Pennsylvania here.
Contact DiCindio Law for help
If you are facing charges of committing a sex crime or have been accused of failing to register as a sex offender or of updating your registration, you should get experienced legal help from DiCindio Law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at 610-430-3535 or by filling out our contact form.