Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses
Sex crimes are some of the more serious crimes in the criminal justice system, both in terms of harm to victims and in terms of penalties for offenders. There are a variety of sex offenses, but some of the more serious offenses include the following:
The specific definitions of these crimes and their elements may vary by state, but there are usually common elements for each. Each will also have its own sentencing requirements; so in cases involving multiple sex offenses, a defendant may face multiple sentences. In addition, offenders will also face significant restrictions once they are released from prison.
Restrictions On Sex Offenders
Defendants who are convicted of a sex crime often face lifelong restrictions, either in the form of registration requirements or preventive measures taken by the state to stop them from committing future crimes. These restrictions may apply even if an offense may appear less serious than others, such as statutory rape between an adult and a consenting minor who are close in age or a minor texting nude pictures of himself or herself.
Some of these restrictions, including laws requiring registered sex offenders to live a specified distance from schools, have become controversial because they effectively render people homeless in many jurisdictions.
For additional information and resources on registration requirements, see the following:
- Registration Requirements: Impact of Jacob Wetterling - The unsolved abduction of Jacob Wetterling led to the enactment of national sex offender registry laws.
- Community Notification Laws (Megan's Law) - Every state must provide information about the location of individuals convicted of sex offenses.
- Megan's Law Resources by State - A list with links to each state's sex offender registry website.
When it comes to preventive measures taken by the state to prevent future crimes, some can be quite invasive while others serve more as alerts to the community. Examples of these types of preventive measures include:
- Chemical and Surgical Castration - Some states allow drug treatments to lower a convict's sex drive, and at least one state permits the surgical castration of sex offenders.
- Civil Commitment - Some states order the civil commitment of habitual sex offenders in order to reduce the risk of future crimes.
- Halloween Sex Offender Laws - Many states have enacted laws restricting the behavior of convicted sex offenders on Halloween.
- Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders - Several states prohibit those convicted of sex crimes from living in certain areas, such as near schools.
- Amber Alerts - Amber alerts spread information about child abductions to aid in the rescue of the child.
Get a Free Evaluation of Your Criminal Case
As you can see, sex offense laws can be very broad in scope and have important repercussions for offenders. If you have a criminal record, or are considering a plea bargain related to alleged sex offenses, you need to know what types of restrictions you'll face after you serve your sentence. There are knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys in your area that can explain the laws that apply to you during a free case review. Get in touch with one today.