Residency restrictions for sex offenders has become a point of critique in state courts as more and more lawsuits are filed against the state. Residency restrictions limit the place a sex offender is allowed to inhabit. Sex offenders find that in smalls cities they are obligated to live outside of residency areas. Individuals convicted as sex offenders may find that only industrial parts of the city are available for housing. In some cases, sex offenders in these strict residency conditions become homeless and are forced to move away from the city.
In places like California, sex offenders are treated the same across the board when it comes to housing and registration regulations. This means that individuals labeled sex offenders despite the severity of their actions are obligated to register as sex offenders and live by strict housing regulations. For example, John who is convicted for soliciting for lewd pleasures is treated the same as Philip who is convicted of possession of child pornography (a much more serious crime). Both John and Philip will need to live by strict registration and housing regulations under current California state law. Individuals registered as sex offenders will find that in some states laws are ‘blanketly’ applied to all sex offenders regardless of their positions.
After Jessica’s law was passed in the state of Florida, other states followed by providing their own form of residency restriction laws for their municipalities. Individuals convicted as sexually violent predators or sex offenders will be restricted by residency laws in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. While state laws vary, most sex offenders in these states will find that they are unable to live near ‘child safety zones’. Child safety zones are places where children are likely to be found and can include public recreational parks, playing field, beaches, swimming pools, and/or other sports facilities where student-athletes may be found.
In the state of California 400 out of the 480 municipalities have applied residency restriction laws that prohibit sex offenders from accessing or living near certain places. As early as July of 2017, 6,329 sex offenders have reported homelessness. The state of California will adopt new laws that will come into effect in January 2021 that may reduce the number of individuals going homeless. The state of California has acknowledged and has levied the ramifications of local state laws on sex offenders charged with first offenses and misdemeanors.
Individuals convicted as sex offenders who are facing residency restriction policies are encouraged to speak with a local state attorney. Residency laws differ by municipality so it is crucial to speak with a local attorney about the laws that guide your case. In some cases, individuals with misdemeanors can have certain regulations lifted or removed. The state of California under Megan's law also allows individuals to have their sex offender information hidden from the public domain. The Sex Crime Attorneys are capable of evaluating your situation and providing a clear depiction of how your case may be handled in a court of law. We have the capacity to investigate your case privately so that you may present facts in a courtroom. Our team of experts understand that sex offenders are required to follow strict codes of conduct, however, not every individual is in the same situation as the other. If you are being forced to move away from your home or you find yourself being legally pursued by angry neighbors, you are encouraged to contact a Sex Crime Attorney. Our attorneys can be reached at 888-666-8480.
Sex Offenders and Registration Laws
Federal registration laws
Sex offenders are individuals that have been convicted in a court of law for committing a sex crime. Sex crimes include rape, possession of child pornography, child sexual abuse, sexual battery, prostitution, indecent exposure, and lewd conduct. If you are found guilty of a sex crime you will most likely face the full ramifications of both local and federal laws. Sex crimes that involve the crossing of state borders or the use of the internet can constitute a federal jurisdiction. In the event that a sex offender is charged with federal and state laws, the offender will need to register his or her personal information to both national and state registry.
Sex offenders federally convicted must follow the regulations detailed in U.S Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Individuals who have been convicted as sex offenders are required by federal law to register their location and other information to the National Sex Offender Registration and Notification System. Individuals who have committed a sex crime are categorized by level of tiers ranging from 1 to 3. Tier 3 sex offenders usually spend a lifetime in prison and face the most complications upon being released back into any community in the United States. Upon being released back into the community, the sex offender will be notified of their federal obligation to register their information with the national registry. Under current federal law, individuals who fail to properly register with the correct information may face up to ten years in prison.
Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), sex offenders will be required to disclose the following information: 1) the sex offenders full legal name. 2) the sex offenders address. 3) the sex offenders school name and address (applies to students). 4) the sex offenders social security number. 5) the sex offenders license plate number and vehicle description. 6) the sex offenders employer’s name and address. Among the restrictions above, sex offenders that have committed sex crimes involving children under the age of 18 are required to follow additional regulations. The information that is gathered by the National Sex Offender Registration and Notification System becomes public information that is accessible by anyone.
State Registration Laws
Like individuals who find themselves persecuted under federal law, those who are persecuted as sex offenders in a state court are also obligated to register as a sex offender in the state registry system. The California Penal Code 290.46 mandates that the states must notify the public about sexually violent predators in their communities. Upon being released from state prison or jail, individuals charged with a sex crime are to upload their personal information to the California Sex and Arson Registry. The registry contains the information of all sex offenders in the state of California and can be accessed by any individual.
The state and federal registry make public the information uploaded by sex offenders. Sex offenders who are in the public eye face harassment from neighbors and other members of their society. In some cases, individuals have considered moving away from the United States in order to gain freedom from laws that prevent them from re-establishing themselves in their community. Individuals in similar situations are encouraged to speak with a local attorney who is capable of evaluating their case. In many cases, individuals who are first-time sex offenders or individuals charged with a misdemeanor are capable of having their information removed from the state registry. Under Megan’s Law, an individual is capable of petitioning to have their registry information removed from the public. The Sex Crimes Attorney are capable of having certain regulations lifted depending on the circumstances of the sex offender.
Sex Offenders and Residency Law
Sex offenders that are registered in a national or state sex offender registry will most likely be subject to blanket laws that prevent individuals from living a certain amount of feet away from a designated area. Sex offenders that are required to register may find housing discrimination by public and private housing agencies making it difficult to find housing. Sex offenders all over the United States have been forced to homelessness due to the severity of their situation. Sex offenders that are unable to find housing are more likely to end up homeless due to the instability caused by the residency regulations. Sex offenders may also be discriminated against while searching for employment making it difficult for many to get back on their feet.
In 2005, Florida enacted Jessica’s Law which seeks to protect children in parks, schools, and residential neighborhoods where sex offenders live. The law was introduced as the Jessica Lunsford Act at the federal level but was never put into law. However, forty-two states have passed a version of Jessica’s Laws that prohibits sex offenders from living near parks, schools, or recreational areas where children are likely to be found. Some states including the State of California have enhanced this law to include all sex offenders including individuals that did not commit a sex crime against a minor.
Jessica's Law was enacted by the Florida State Law in 2005 when Jessica Lunsford was found murdered after being sexually abused in February of the same year. The prosecutor was a man named John Couey who was a registered sex offender. The Florida locals pushed for state law to include provisions that greatly restrict the freedoms of sex offenders. Jessica’s law as mentioned earlier includes provisions that aim to restrict the residency areas that are accessible by sex offenders. Jessica laws establish that lewd acts or molestation against a person under the age of 12 is punishable as a felony with a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. In addition, the Florida law established that individuals charged with a felony for violating or molesting a person under the age of 12, upon being released from prison, must endure a lifetime of probation.
After the implementation of Jessica’s law other states began to adopt their own version of Jessica’s laws and in some cases, state courts have enhanced the provisions of the law to include greater consequences and regulations for sex offenders. However, since the implementation of the law, state courts have received a substantial amount of critique for applying a blanket approach to all sex offenders. The lawsuits have led to different developments in state laws with regards to residency restrictions. For example, the state of California has enabled certain individuals to remove their names from the public registry. After being removed from the registry individuals are capable of enjoying greater residency freedoms. However, individuals may find that their information is kept privately for the use of law enforcement agencies.
To learn more about residency restriction laws, please visit the following link on “Sex Offenders’ Residency Restrictions”: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0380.htm
Sex offenders that find themselves in strict residency conditions must understand that some courts have deemed residency restriction laws as violations of a sex offenders rights. State law differs in every state and you may find that municipalities apply residency laws differently. To have an accurate understanding of your situation, you should speak with a local state attorney.
If you are accused of a sex crime it is crucial to contact a local state attorney who is capable of evaluating your case. Sex crimes have federal and state repercussions that can greatly alter an individual's lifestyle. Sex crimes can be contested if the individual is wrongly accused by attorneys that are experienced with local and federal sex crime laws. Sex Crimes Attorney can be reached for both state and federal sex crimes at 888-666-8480. Our attorneys are capable of evaluating your case and providing a separate inspection of your situation to assure that you are not wrongfully convicted in a court of law.
If you are a victim of a sex crime, the Sex Crimes Attorneys advise you to contact local authorities that can provide protection while you file a lawsuit. Our attorneys are capable of representing your case in a court of law so that the sex offender is monitored and treated with the full consequence of the law.