There are certain crimes for which, if you’ve been convicted, you are required to register as a sex offender. This, undoubtedly, can be an intimidating and unpleasant process. We know that and we also know that one way to decrease that is to know what to expect. If you do find yourself having to register, or thinking you may have to register, we are here to help you through that process. Take a look at these frequently asked questions and give us a call.
- How does the process of registration work? This will depend on what state and court you are in. In Washington, you must reside in the county you live in and the county where you work or go to school. If you don’t reside in Washington, but you work or go to school in Washington, you still need to register in the county where you work or go to school. You’ll need to provide your full name, your address, your date of birth and place of birth, your place of employment, social security number, photograph, fingerprints and the date and place of the conviction as well as the crime for which you are convicted. It’s important to have all of this information readily accessible to prevent delays in the process.
- Will my registration be published statewide? If you are a level II or III offender, then your registration will be published on the state registry website. If you are level I, however, unless you are transient or non-compliant, your registration will not be published on the website. Level I offenders are determined to have the lowest risk of reoffended once released, level II have a moderate risk and level II have the highest risk of reoffending.
- Can I still see my children? In Washington, it is against the law to leave minor children under the care of a registered sex offender who has an offense against a child. However, there are exceptions to this rule that may allow you to remain an active part of your child’s life. These can include a court issuing an order allowing unsupervised contact or a family reunification plan. We know this is crucial and recommend speaking with an attorney if you have children and are convicted of a sex offense.
- Will this affect my employment? Legally, employers cannot discriminate against applicants for a criminal history, they are allowed to ask about criminal history. If you are looking to further your education to obtain a higher level of employment, there are strict rules that come along with that as well. You may need to notify the sheriff in the county where you will be attending school, in addition to updating your registration.
Making sure you register timely, accurately and keep your registration up-to-date is extremely important. If you fail to do any of those things, you could find yourself in legal trouble and facing additional consequences. If you have to register and are unclear on what you need to do, contact us today for a consultation.