All U.S. states have a sex offender registry where those convicted of sexual misconduct or crimes are required to register. But, something that very few people know is that not every registered sex offender is guilty of a serious, violent crime. For example, there have been many cases where simply indecent exposure (nudity) in public earned someone a place on the sex offender registry.
Another instance that can result in an individual landing on the sex offender registry is if a minor has sex with another minor. Even if it was consensual, this situation can lead to statutory rape charges, which in turn requires an individual to register as a sex offender.
What is a Sex Offender Registry?
A sex offender registry keeps track of individuals who have been convicted of specific sex offenses. States are required to maintain this database with sex offender’s information and if a state fails to maintain their sex offender database they risk losing government funding.
Information that is usually included in this database is a mugshot of the offender, their home address, the sex offense that they committed, their place of employment, as well as vehicles registered to them.
Depending on the level of sex offense, some of this information is also available to the public (this is to promote the safety of families living in the vicinity of the offender).
The Three Status Levels of Sex Offenders
Here are the three levels of sex offenders as well as what information is available to the public in relation to each type of offender.
Level 1 Sex Offenders
Individuals who are seen as having a low risk of re-offending and pose a little safety risk to the public are level, one sex offenders. Things like indecent public exposure while intoxicated might land an individual as a level one sex offender.
In most states, level one sex offenders do not have their personal information made available to the public but instead, it is provided only to legal departments, youth services and departments, and investigation bureaus.
Level 2 Sex Offenders
These offenders are considered to have a moderate risk of re-offending and are seen as a moderate threat to public safety.
In most states, level two offenders have some amount of personal information shared online for the safety of others in the near vicinity.
Level 3 Sex Offenders
Level three sex offenders are considered to be a danger to the public and have a high risk of re-offending. Personal information regarding registered level three sex offenders is available to the public in order to promote the safety of citizens who are living close by.
Does a Sex Offender Status Expire?
Many states require that an offender’s name be listed on a sex offender registry for the remainder of the individual’s lifetime.
Other states allow for the removal of an individual’s name from the database in select situations. And other states allow for the removal of sex offenses from the official registry after a set number of years if the individual has had no repeat offenses (a minimum of ten years in most cases).
How to Get Rid of a Sex Offender Status
While it is by no means easy, getting rid of a sex offender status is possible in specific situations. Here are situations in which a sex offender status may be removed if appealed:
- If the individual was underage at the time of the offense and the offense included two consenting individuals (as sometimes is the case with some statutory rape charges)
- The sex offense that the individual was convicted for has been decriminalized
- The individual has completed ordered treatment (such as counseling)
- The individual completed a required period with zero repeat offenses or other criminal charges
In any of these cases, the road to having one’s name removed from a sex offender registry is difficult. This is why it is recommended that individuals wanting to get rid of a sex offender status work with a criminal defense attorney. Having the right legal help fighting for you will make all the difference in the world when it comes to cases relating to sex offense charges.
Work With a Seasoned Attorney Today
Matthew Leyba, of Leyba Defense, is a Seattle-based attorney who is passionate about criminal justice. He has been serving the Greater Seattle area for more than a decade, assisting those facing criminal charges to find the best legal outcome for their unique case.
If you are facing criminal charges and need to speak with a legal expert, contact Leyba Defense today. Leyba Defense offers an initial consultation for free to first-time clients in order to gain a thorough understanding of the prospective client’s case and what they’re up against legally.
Contact Leyba Defense today to schedule your first consultation and take control of your legal situation.