Sex offender registration is required for anyone who has been convicted of a sex-related offense. There are certain distinctions among sex offender registration, though, determined by an individual’s potential risk level. Keep reading our blog to learn more about Washington’s sex offender registration laws and the three different sex offender levels.
Who Is Considered a Sex Offender?
Any adult or juvenile who has been found to have committed or has been convicted of any sex offense or kidnapping offense, or who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, must register in person with the county sheriff for the county of the person's residence. If the person is not a resident of Washington, they must register with the county of the person's school or place of employment or vocation in the state. Sex offenders are juveniles or adults who have committed a Class A, Class B, Class C felony or certain gross misdemeanors. By law, sex offenders are required to register for life (Class A), 15 years (Class B), and 10 years (Class C), respectively.
Be aware that any adult or juvenile who is required to register must notify the county sheriff of the county with whom they are registered within 3 business days (not including Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday):
- prior to arriving at a school or institution of higher education to attend classes;
- prior to starting work at an institution of higher education; or
- after any termination of enrollment or employment at a school or institution of higher education.
Those required to register must provide the following information when registering:
- name and any aliases used;
- complete residential address or, if they lack a fixed residence, where they plan to stay;
- date and place of birth;
- place of employment;
- crime for which they’ve been convicted;
- date and place of conviction;
- Social Security number;
- photograph; and
Note that the photograph or copy of an individual's fingerprints (including palm prints) may be taken at any time to update an individual's file.
The 3 Sex Offender Levels
Sex offender registration categorizes offenders into 3 separate levels determined by examining several factors about the offender and the nature of their crime. This will help to determine the possible risks to the community at large and thus assign adults and juvenile offenders a risk level classification for purposes of community notification by law enforcement.
Level I offenders are those whose risk assessment and other factors indicate they are a low risk to sexually reoffend within their community at large. Level I offenders are not published on the Washington Sex Offender Public Registry.
Offenders are classified as Level II offenders if their risk assessment and other factors indicate they are a moderate risk to sexually reoffend within the community. Level II offenders are published on the Washington Sex Offender Public Registry, as opposed to Level I offenders.
Lastly, offenders are considered Level III offenders if their risk assessment and other factors indicate they are a high risk to sexually reoffend within their community. Level III offenders are also published on the Washington Sex Offender Public Registry.
Sex Offender Restrictions
Some sex offenders may be ordered to go under supervision. Those under supervision have certain limitations or restrictions placed on them by the Department of Corrections or the sentencing court upon their release from incarceration. These restrictions may include:
- residency restrictions;
- not being around children;
- having a curfew; or
- not drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Individuals found to be in violation of their restrictions may be sent back to jail or to prison. Offenders who have completed their time under supervision, though can live where they choose without restrictions despite their sex offender status.
Seek Legal Help Today
If you have been charged with a sex-related offense, you will be required by law to register in the state of Washington as a sex offender. There are distinctions among registered sex offenders, though, such as Level I through III offenders based on their risk level for re-offense. If you have legal concerns about the sex offender registration requirement or your classified risk level, contact an experienced attorney today. Our team at Hester Law Group can help you navigate Washington’s sex offender registration laws in light of your situation.
Schedule your free consultation today with our firm at Hester Law Group.