Any sex crime allegation will be taken seriously in Pennsylvania, and the penalties administered if you’re convicted of behaving abusively or inappropriately could change your life forever. Nevertheless, everyone is allowed their day in court. As an American citizen, you have the right to a fair trial and a robust defense. An expert lawyer may be able to reduce or eliminate the penalties associated with a conviction that typically include jail time, fees, property loss, and sex offense registration.
Depending on the sex crime in question, it may be necessary for you to register as a sex offender. This process involves sending a broad range of identifying information to state and local police that will be added to a public database listing all convicted sex offenders in the state. It’s important to understand what this means under Pennsylvania law, whether or not it will directly affect you, and how a lawyer may be able to protect you.
Criminal Sexual Offenses Subject to Sex Offender Registration
There are a number of sex crimes in Pennsylvania that require sex offender registration. Sex crimes that cross state lines may also result in federal prosecution and require registration. Pennsylvania sex offender registration applies to the following sex-related crimes:
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- The kidnapping of a minor
- Indecent assault on a victim under 13 years old
- Promotion of prostitution with a minor victim
- Obscene and other sexual materials
- Unlawful contact or communication with a minor
- Sexual exploitation of children
If you’re a Pennsylvania resident who’s been convicted of any such crime, you are required to register as a sex offender without exception. There are different requirements in place depending on the charges you face. Certain convictions may require registration for 15 or 25 years, while others may require registration for life. It’s also important to note that, even if you’ve been convicted of an equivalent criminal offense in another state and then move to Pennsylvania, you’re still required to register in the State of Pennsylvania.
Registration Information and Penalties for Failure to Comply
If you’re ordered to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania, there are many requirements to which you must adhere throughout your life. First, you must register with the local law enforcement agency in the counties where you live, work, and go to school. This involves sending identifying information to state and local police as well as the state board of probation, including your name, photograph, residential address, employer, driver’s license information, any scars or tattoos, and perhaps even the usernames of any social media websites you use.
If you’re required to register, you have 10 days from the time you’re released from incarceration or the start of your probation to provide the necessary information to your local police department. You must provide and update your information as required by the “tier” of your offense. In addition, you also have to verify your registration every year, twice each year, or four times a year depending on whether you’re a Tier I, II, or III offender. Likewise, depending on your sentence, you may face additional restrictions. Individuals who fail to register, report changes to registration information, or appear in person will face additional criminal charges.
While registering as a sex offender can be embarrassing and have devastating consequences, failure to register is a felony that comes with its own set of harsh penalties. If you’ve been charged with failure to register as a sex offender, hire an expert criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact an Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer in Montgomery County
The laws governing sex crimes are complex, and the effects of conviction and sex offender registration are long-lasting and often permanent. If you’ve been arrested for a sex crime, the Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. can help. We have experience defending against sex crime allegations and failure to register offenses throughout Southeast Pennsylvania. Our firm will discuss with you the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and will potentially work toward reducing or vacating any penalties associated with the crime.
For nearly 68 years, our attorneys have been serving the legal needs of clients in Montgomery County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout the surrounding areas. Our highly trusted and skilled legal team understands the ins and outs of Pennsylvania sex crimes defense law and will be with you every step of the way. We’ve earned the trust and respect of clients facing a wide range of legal problems and are dedicated to guarding your rights. Call (215) 822-7575 or complete our online contact form today.