Use the Sex Offender Registry To Protect Your Loved Ones From Predators
Your family’s safety takes precedence over almost everything else in your life.
Sex offenders could be living in your neighborhood without you knowing it, presenting a danger to your loved ones. Thankfully, under Megan’s Law, each state must give you access to the identity and whereabouts of sex offenders through a public registry.
DoNotPay is here to help you protect your nearest and dearest with our guide to the state and federal sex offender registry framework.
Anyone convicted of a sex offense under state or federal law has to register on a state database.
The registry contains details of the offender’s:
- Criminal history
- Physical location
State sex offender registries are in the public domain, so you can search your area for registered sex offenders to determine whether you or your loved ones may be in any danger.
Sex crimes in the U.S. are categorized in tiers according to their severity. Each state uses its system of classification, but the tiers and the crimes associated with them are generally as follows:
|Tier I is the lowest classification of crimes and does not involve violence. Typical tier I crimes are:
|Tier II offenses are more serious and can involve:
|On the highest level, tier III offenses usually involve violence or extreme underage acts, such as:
Depending on the level of the crime, an offender’s name must stay on the registry for:
- 15 years—tier I
- 25 years—tier II
- Their lifetime—tier III
Each state has different regulations on:
- Who must be put on the sex offender registry
- What information they should disclose
- What restrictions are placed on them
If an offender is on the registry, they will have to provide personal details, address, and crime they were convicted of. This can have far-reaching consequences as landlords, employers, financial institutions, and other essential service providers may choose to check the registry.
Offenders may find that they:
- Cannot live in certain areas or are turned down by a landlord
- Cannot access credit or loans
- Have difficulty finding employment
People convicted of a sex offense must register periodically with state authorities, notify them of any change of address or status—such as a new car purchase—and make sure that they are traceable at all times. They may face restrictions on their interstate travel or use of alcohol or drugs and could be excluded from living in certain areas close to schools.
Offenders who do not place themselves on the registry after being ordered to do so face stiff penalties on top of any sentence they have already received.
If you are worried about living close to a registered sex offender, you can use your state registry to find out whether any are in your area.
If you are looking for a particular person, you can perform a registered sex offender search using the National Sex Offender Public Website, which covers the whole country.
Searching a registry is relatively straightforward. If you are looking for sex offenders in your area, you need to:
- Type in your address
- Stipulate the radius you want to search in
- Make a note of the results
If you are looking for a specific person, your state registry will allow you to type in the name and will provide feedback on the offender’s current location.
Even better, you can let DoNotPay !
DoNotPay understands that you want to be as safe as possible in your neighborhood and that you have a right to know if registered sex offenders are living in your area.
While you can always perform your own registry searches, we know that things can change quickly—an offender could move into your area from one day to the next. You would only find out if you performed another registry search.
DoNotPay has the solution for your peace of mind.
Our Sex Offender Search product can give you a once-off check on any registered offenders in your area or tell you where a particular person is. We can even send you weekly updates if you choose.
All you have to do is:
- in your web browser
- Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
- Type in the name of the offender or your address, and set the search parameters
DoNotPay will send you the results quickly. If you want, you can get a weekly report so that you can be alerted if the person you are looking for—or any other registered sex offender—moves into your area.
If your registry search flags a registered sex offender close to your home, you should take the following steps:
- Talk to your family
- Set geographical boundaries for kids
- Research your state laws
- Alert your caregivers
- Report suspicious behavior
Your first step is to make sure your children are aware of the potential danger of talking to strangers and that they are comfortable with alerting you or a trusted adult if they feel threatened.
Forbidding your children from going to certain places may have the effect of making those places more enticing, so you should make sure you explain why you are putting certain areas or buildings off-limits.
You should familiarize yourself with what restrictions are placed on sex offenders in your state. The more you know, the easier you will find it to spot suspicious or forbidden activity by the offender.
If you have a nanny, babysitter, or home help who looks after your kids, you need to make sure they are informed as well.
You are within your rights to report any suspicious behavior by contacting your local law enforcement or the offender’s parole officer.
If you need details of how the sex offender registry in your state works, look no further. DoNotPay has the info you need—here are a few examples:
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