What Is a Sex Offender and How Does the Law Deal With Sex Crimes?

Sex Offender Search What Is a Sex Offender and How Does the Law Deal With Sex Crimes?

Evil Personified—What Is a Sex Offender?

Typically preying on those weaker than themselves, sex offenders occupy a special place in society in that they are vilified long after they have served whatever sentence their crime has merited.

What is a sex offender? DoNotPay has the complete rundown, including how you can make sure you and your loved ones are protected!

What Makes Someone a Sex Offender?

In its simplest terms, a sex offender is someone who has been convicted of a crime involving sex—be it with a member of the opposite sex, the same sex, or a child.


Sex offender laws classify crimes according to their severity, as follows:

Sexual Offense Level Explanation
Level or tier I Tier I is the lowest classification of sex offenses and can involve:

  • Acts of public indecency
  • Non-violent sexual contact without penetration
  • Voyeurism
Level or tier II Level or tier II includes offenses with pubescent minors, such as:

  • Sexual acts with minors aged 12–15
  • Distribution or production of child pornography
  • Sexual coercion or enticement of minors aged 12–15
Level or tier III The most serious crimes are classified level or tier III and include cases involving violence or pre-pubescent minors. Such crimes can include:

  • Rape
  • Kidnapping for sexual purposes
  • Violent sexual abuse of a minor aged 12 or under

Without going into a sex offender’s motivation, crimes involving sex typically incur harsh custodial sentences, particularly for repeat offenders.

What Are Typical Punishments for Sex Offenders?

Most sex offenses are tried at the state level, with only the most serious cases going to federal court. Most states agree that there are different types of sex offenses, as follows:

  1. Adults—Crimes against adults involve any illegal act perpetrated against an unrelated adult
  2. Relatives or family members—These crimes involve anything related to incest as defined by each state’s laws
  3. Children—Any crime involving children is regarded harshly, although distinctions are drawn between offenses against pre- and post-pubescent minors
  4. Nature—Crimes involving animals, public indecency, or voyeurism are classified as sex offenses against nature. In some states, sodomy still counts in this category
  5. Sex trade—Any form of prostitution is seen as an offense against sex trade laws

Punishments vary from state to state and according to the severity of the crime. All crimes involving children or violence are punished severely, with prison sentences ranging from a minimum of 15 years to life imprisonment.

What Happens to Sex Offenders After They Have Served Their Sentence?

Sex offenses are regarded differently from other types of crime.

In other criminal cases, a criminal is thought to be rehabilitated after they have completed their punishment.

Sex offenders are marked for much longer, and the law does not see them as capable of rehabilitation. After they are released back into society, sex offenders in every state must place themselves on a sex offender registry that ensures their identity is in the public domain. This is a consequence of the 1994 Megan’s Law, which states that the public has a right to know who has committed a sex crime.

The aim of each state’s—and the national—sex offender registry requirements is to provide a map of the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of the public are aware of their identity and location.

The rules for sexual offenders also involve restrictions on areas of the criminal’s life, such as:

Sex offenders must update their data regularly, and their names and details remain on the registry for the following periods:

Tier or Level Time on Registry
Tier or level I 15 years
Tier or level II 25 years
Tier or level III Until death

In many cases, this condemns a sex offender to a lifetime of difficulty:

  • Finding jobs
  • Securing accommodation
  • Accessing credit

Many convicts attempt to sidestep the system by not updating their registration or by moving state and not registering in their new location. Such unregistered sex offenders—if caught—are dealt with even more severely.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Sex Offenders?

Your state’s sex offender registry is accessible by the public, so if you want to check up on your neighborhood or a specific person, you can perform a registry search on the relevant state website.

While this is easy and convenient, it only gives you a snapshot of the current status.

A sex offender can change location overnight, so staying abreast of whether any are living in your neighborhood would involve frequent checks.

DoNotPay has the answer! We can perform a once-off search for you—either for a specific person or for all the sex offenders in your area—and we also give you the option of getting weekly updates sent to you automatically!

Keep Tabs on Sex Offenders With DoNotPay!

DoNotPay values your safety and peace of mind as much as you do!

With our Sex Offender Search product, you can track individuals by name, search your area for resident sex offenders, and even opt for weekly updates so you are aware of any changes.

To use the feature, all you need to do is:

  1. Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
  3. Choose whether you want to search for
    1. A particular person
    2. Sex offenders in your vicinity

Once we have your search parameters, you will get your report in a flash.

State Registration Laws Clarified

DoNotPay can help if you need specific information on the sex offender registry laws in your state—here are a few of the states we cover:

Georgia Wisconsin Iowa
Virginia Kentucky Florida
California Pennsylvania North Carolina
New York Missouri Indiana
Utah Texas Michigan
Ohio Illinois Tennessee

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