What is the Sex Offender Registry?

Individuals who commit a sex crime have their names registered in a specific database formed and maintained by state law enforcers. The registry serves to keep the community informed about local sex offenders.

In Pennsylvania, the system is derived from the “Megan’s Law,” which mandates sex offender registration and community notification once someone is convicted of a sex crime. A skilled criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia provides legal guidance on what it means to have your name on the registry and how to get off the record.

Is the Sex Offender Registry Shared Publicly?

The debate on whether the sex offender registry should be shared publicly is an issue before the Supreme Court. Public sharing of the record is punitive and violates substantive due process. Nonetheless, anyone who wants to know more about you can check the registry and discover the sexual offense you committed.

Other details on the website are:

  • The date you registered as a sex offender
  • Your photos
  • Your residential address
  • Your employment address or school address, if available

Anyone who uses the information in the registry to intimidate, harass, or threaten you or your family is guilty of an offense and may be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution. If this has happened to you, consult a sexual abuse lawyer in Philadelphia on the steps you can take.

For How Long Will My Name Appear on the Sex Offender Registry in Pennsylvania?

If you committed a severe sex crime, the law requires that your name be registered on the sex offender registry. Pennsylvania establishes three tiers for sexual abuse offenders, namely:

  • Tier 1- 15 years, and you must report annually
  • Tier 2- 25 years, and you must report twice a year
  • Tier 3- Indefinite, no automatic removal, and you must report four times a year

The tier system was established in 2012, and it represents how long your name can stay on the registry, depending on the severity of the sex crime you commit. Removing your name from the registry can be challenging if the offense is severe.

However, you can enhance your chances of getting a favorable outcome by enlisting the help of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in Philadelphia.

What Crimes Are Considered Sexual in Pennsylvania?

The list of sexual abuse offenses in Pennsylvania is long, although most crimes don’t seem to fall under this category at first. For example, aggravated assault may attract the same penalties as rape since it’s a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony where the victim is younger than 13.

Some crimes that are sexual in Pennsylvania include:

  • Child sexual assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Any form of internet sex crimes
  • Online solicitation of a minor
  • Child pornography charges
  • Child molestation
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Spousal rape
  • Failure to register as a sex offender when mandated

A conviction for any of these charges can have life-long consequences, and you shouldn’t take them lightly. Consult an aggressive sexual abuse attorney in Pennsylvania to defend and protect your rights.

How Can I Get Off the Sex Offender Registry?

It is possible to get your name removed from the sex offender registry list. The process usually requires that the conviction is:

  • Pardoned
  • Reversed
  • Set aside
  • Vacated

These actions apply on a case-by-case basis. You may also be eligible for removal from the sex offender registry after serving the state-mandated registry period. Some other reasons that make it possible to remove your name from the database include the following:

  • You were a minor when you committed the offense
  • The crime you committed is no longer a crime after being legally decriminalized
  • You successfully underwent and completed treatment as prescribed by an expert, such as counseling therapy

Consult an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer and let them evaluate your case. They can tell you when you may be eligible for removal from the sex offender registry in Pennsylvania.

Can an Attorney Help Me Fight Sex Crime Charges?

Having your name on the sex offender registry can seriously affect your life. Simply moving away may not help you much, as you’re required to register wherever you move. Doing so alerts the people in the immediate vicinity. The law also requires you to alert employers or educational institutions of this status.

Being registered as a sexual offender subjects you to social stigma, so you should strive to fight the charges before a conviction. Experienced Philadelphia sexual abuse lawyers can fight to have the charges dropped to keep you off the registry from the first instance.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction

Not everyone accused of sexual abuse is usually guilty of the offense. You should hire an aggressive sexual abuse lawyer to represent you in court. They can thoroughly investigate and examine the case from all angles to help you create a strong defense strategy.

If your case goes to trial, a lawyer will be with you at every step to prepare you for any possible questioning. They can also provide legal counsel to make the best decision to protect your life, reputation, and future.

An Experienced Sex Abuse Lawyer Helping You Rebuild Your Reputation

If you have been convicted of a sex offense in Philadelphia, you must register in the sex crimes registry. That can ruin your reputation and chances of getting employment or educational opportunities. Fortunately, you can have your name removed from the list under several conditions. A skilled sexual abuse lawyer can evaluate your case and guide you on what to do.

Our law firm hosts skilled sexual abuse lawyers who can provide the legal support and counsel you need if your name is in the sex offenses registry. Your best defense against sexual abuse charges or having your name off the list is having legal experts represent you. Contact us to schedule an initial case assessment.