How Well-Protected Are You? DoNotPay Explains Sexual Offender Registration Laws
Knowing that a sex offender is living near you can be life-changing.
Not knowing that you are living in the same neighborhood, street, or building as a convicted sex criminal can have much worse consequences, though.
The U.S. government recognizes your right to protect yourself. Arming you with knowledge about the whereabouts of sex offenders is a major step in preventing them from reoffending and you becoming a victim.
DoNotPay’s article helps you understand the sexual offender registration laws and how you can use them to safeguard yourself and your loved ones.
In 2006, the U.S. government passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into law.
Title one of the act included the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), a national registry of sex offenders to help identify and map the whereabouts of such criminals across the country.
The national registry collates all the information from each state’s database, meaning that federal authorities can track sex offenders’:
- Home, work, and school addresses
- Criminal history
The SORNA is linked to Megan’s Law, which ensures that the registry is available to the general public. This means that anybody can check on the location of named sex offenders or can find out whether a sex offender lives in their neighborhood.
Each state has its own law forcing convicted sex offenders to register themselves, and different states require varying levels of detail, including:
- Finger and palm prints
- Driver’s license copies
- All aliases or social media handles the offender uses
- Employer information
- Landlord details
- Car registration particulars
Offenders are responsible for registering themselves and must update their information regularly. For most offenders, this means an annual re-registration, but level III criminals must do it every quarter.
State laws place various restrictions on what a registered offender can do, including:
- Limits on where the offender can live
- Prohibition from certain jobs involving children
- Local and interstate travel limitations
Due to the public nature of the information on the registry, a sex offender may find it difficult to:
- Get a job
- Secure public or private rental accommodation
- Integrate into a neighborhood
Depending on the level of their crime, convicted sex criminals must be registered for the following numbers of years:
|Level of Offense||Registration Period|
|Level I||15 years|
|Level II||25 years|
|Level III||Until death|
There is no remittance for good behavior or opportunity to be removed ahead of time.
Further regulations mean that a sex offender must:
- Reregister in every state they live in
- Make sure that their crimes are registered
- Notify authorities of travel plans
If a sex offender relocates from one state to another, they must register in the new state and maintain their registration in the state they have left.
An act in one state may not be regarded as a crime but may in another state. A sex offender must check their destination state’s laws to find out if they need to register anything that did not warrant a conviction in their former state of residence.
Sex offenders must notify their state authorities of interstate travel plans and may have to register themselves as temporary visitors in other states.
As a result of these rules, many sex offenders attempt to circumvent the system by not updating their details after moving or not registering in the first place.
Unregistered sex offenders are difficult to trace and are rife in many states, so the penalties for being caught are severe, often including up to 30 years of penal servitude.
The most important element of the SORNA and Megan’s Law is that you have the right to access your state and national registries to arm yourself with information.
If you are concerned about a specific person you know to be a sex offender or want to know whether any offenders live in your neighborhood, you can perform a search in any of the registries.
Your search can look for a name or check your local area for offenders. If someone has recently moved into your area and is acting suspiciously, you can check their name or appearance against registry entries in a radius of up to three miles around your address.
This only gives you a snapshot of the current status, though. Ideally, you need to be informed of any changes as quickly as possible, but this would mean spending time trawling registries every week.
Thankfully, DoNotPay has the solution! We can if you choose so!
DoNotPay is here to help you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your family!
Our app can perform a search for sex offenders and even provide you with weekly automatic updates if you need them.
All you need to do to use our service is:
- in your web browser
- Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
- Type in the name of the offender or your address, and decide what parameters you want to check
In an instant, you will have the facts you need to stay safe. If you choose, we will send you an update every week to make sure your security stays intact!
Dealing with administrative procedures is never a fun experience. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s also extremely inconvenient and impractical. Luckily, we have a practical solution!
Use DoNotPay to cut through the red tape and handle any bureaucratic issue that comes your way stress-free! Check out the list below to see a fragment of tasks you can tackle with our help:
- Draw up a plethora of legal documents
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