Sex Offender Registration Can Result in a Lifetime of Hardship
Being convicted of a crime, any crime, can result in an enormous amount of oversight and disruption and control by strangers over your life. In most cases, this is called probation of parole. However, there is a special class of oversight that goes well beyond this. Its called Sex Offender Registration. Being convicted of an offense that requires a sexual offender registration is like that probation on steroids. These are called collateral consequences. Its what could be required of you regardless of how the Judge sentences you in certain kinds of cases. Even more, these consequences can be worse than the actual sentencing. So, you better know what’s coming.
Sex offender registration can be one of the by-products of being convicted of a whole series of criminal offenses. Some people think that this only applies to rape type convictions. This is simply not the case. In fact, the way the statutes are written in Minnesota, if you are simply charged with an offense that requires sex offender registration and are found guilty of anything else, I mean anything else, including something as simple as a petty misdemeanor disorderly conduct, that arises out of the original complaint, you still have to register. This is true even if all of the rape/sex charges are dismissed. In fact, there are those instances where I have had to fight potential charges in the middle of cases just because of the by-product of the registration requirements. The weapon that is sexual offender registration is that harsh.
Another consideration is that registration is required for a bunch of other charges that aren’t even sexual assault. These can include certain prostitution charges, certain indecent exposure charges and a multiple other charges involving children. Just remember, it isn’t just “the worst of the worst” that are required to register.
The other aspect of registration is knowing the difference between all of those statutes and the offender ramifications of each. statutes and sub-statute. Depending upon certain subsets, one might require a 10 year registration while the other could require a lifetime registration. While that may not seem like a huge distinction, consider after 10 years and a day one you might live another 40 years. In other words, it could be everything.
As to the actual consequences of sex offender registration, I’ll leave that for another blog post. Suffice it to say, try getting a job when your employer knows about the sex offender registration requirement. Try getting a place to live when they have to know. Try having personal relationships when you have to disclose the registration. The list goes on and on and on.
So, simply put, collateral consequences matter in these kinds of cases and having a criminal defense lawyer who knows the lay of the land is absolutely critical.