Types of Sex Offenders Under U.S. Federal and State Law
DoNotPay has all the info you need to understand the various types of sex offenders and what you can do to make sure you and your family are protected!
The law on sex offenses is usually set at the state level with an overarching federal framework. Every state agrees that sex crime can be broken down into the following categories:
|Type of Sex Offense
|This category includes any crime perpetrated against an unrelated adult, such as:
|This includes crimes committed against a relative or family member, the most common of which is incest. Some states categorize marital rape in this group
|Sex crime against children
|Crimes against children can include:
|Violations against nature
|Crimes against nature include:
Sodomy is still counted as a crime under this category in some states
|Trade in sex
|Any act involving prostitution or the sale of sex falls under this category
Within these categories, each state differentiates between crimes according to their severity, as follows:
Tier or level I offenses do not involve violence or minors and include:
- Non-violent sexual contact without penetration
- Possession of illegal pornography
- Acts of public indecency
The next level of severity covers sexual acts with pubescent minors, such as:
- Distribution or production of child pornography
- Sexual coercion or enticement
The most severe sex crimes involve violence or sexual acts with pre-pubescent minors, such as:
- Sexual assault or abuse
- Child trafficking with a sexual intent
A convicted sex offender’s sentence will be based on the category and severity of the crime.
Every offender convicted of a sex crime in the U.S. must place themselves on their state’s sex offender registry. This is a result of Megan’s Law, which insists that information about sex offenders is in the public domain.
The registry contains identifying information about the offender, including their:
- Most recent police photo
- Home, work, and school address
- Criminal history
The registry aims to create an up-to-date map of where sex offenders are. As a member of the public, you have a right to check your state registry at any time to search for sex offenders in your area or check on the whereabouts of a specific person.
Many states go further and collect information such as online aliases, car registration details, and driver’s license copies.
If you find that a registered sex offender lives in your neighborhood, you will be able to check what type of crime they have committed by looking through their criminal records.
Depending on the severity of their crime, sex offenders must register themselves for the following periods:
|Severity of Crime
|Time on Registry
|Tier or level I
|Tier or level II
|Tier or level III
There is no remission for good behavior, and registered offenders face restrictions on:
Any sex offender that doesn’t register or fails to keep their registration up-to-date faces severe penalties. These can include custodial sentences of up to 30 years.
Your state sex offender registry is a powerful tool to protect yourself and your family, but criminals can move fast, and you need to keep abreast of any changes that may affect you. DoNotPay has the solution—we can and keep you updated for your safety!
We know how scary the thought of a sex offender in your neighborhood, street, or building can be!
That is why we make it easy for you to check the area around your home, search for a specific sex offender, and receive regular updates of any changes.
To get the information you need to stay safe, all you need to do is:
- in your web browser
- Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
- Choose whether you want to search for:
- A particular person
- Sex offenders in your vicinity
If you want us to, we can send you a weekly update on your search to ensure you stay safe.
If you need information about the registry and the laws in your state, here are a few examples of the help we can give you:
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