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What Can Happen to You If You Fail To Register as a Sex Offender In Your New Jurisdiction?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | April 13, 2021

A criminal conviction on your record can infringe upon your civil liberties and affect your ability to receive student financial aid, housing and jobs.

Most sex offenses carry with them an obligation to place your name on the sex offender registry. Law enforcement may arrest you on additional criminal charges if you fail to do so as required by law.

How long do you have to register after you move?

You must add your name and contact info to the registry list in the jurisdiction in which you reside within three days of your conviction if you're not subject to incarceration. Otherwise, you must update your contact info before your release from prison.

It's also necessary to update information within three business days of moving to a new jurisdiction. You generally have to appear in person. You must provide them with your name, address, student or employment information.

You may need to re-appear periodically at your local law enforcement officials so that they can take additional photographs and re-verify your information. How often you must re-appear and for long depends on your sex offender tier status as follows:

  • Tier I sex offenders: Must update their information and photos annually for 15 years.
  • Tier II sex offenders: Need to provide law enforcement with updated photos and information once every six months for 25 years.
  • Tier III sex offenders: Existing laws require them to update their information and photographs every three months for life.

Government officials may reduce how long an offender must remain registered by up to five years if you maintain a clean record for ten years.

What are the potential penalties for not registering?

18 U.S.C. §2250 spells out how someone who fails to register as a sex offender may face up to a 10-year prison term for such an offense. This federal law even applies to sex offenders previously convicted under state law.

The stakes are high if you fail to register as a sex offender. Like all crimes, there are legitimate defenses for your oversight. An attorney will want to learn more about your unique situation before advising you what those possible defense strategies you can employ might be.

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