Individuals are required to register as a sex offender if they have been convicted of a dangerous sexual offense, including enticement, sexual exploitation, aggravated sexual battery, child molestation and child pornography. Whether or not the offense and conviction occurred in Georgia, registration is required as long as the offender currently resides in our state.
The Georgia Legislature passed a law in 2010 that allows some sex offenders to request removal from the Georgia Sex Offender Registry. This development has allowed many individuals who were convicted of sexual crimes and pose little risk to society to move on with their lives.
However, once you are put on the sex offender registry, you generally remain on the list for life, unless removed by a court or other legal means.
Removal from the Sex Offender Registry
The judge must first determine if you are eligible to be removed. Requirements consist of a Level I classification (if the sentence concluded in the past 10 years) and these six other factors:
- Must not have had any prior convictions for sex crimes or crimes against minors
- Must not have used a weapon likely to cause serious bodily harm during the offense
- Must not have transported the victim
- Must not have physically restrained the victim
- Must not have caused the victim intentional physical harm
- Must be no evidence of similar transactions
The judge will then determine that the offender is not substantially likely to commit a dangerous sexual offense in the future. Several different factors might be taken into consideration. Evidence of the crime will be important, but the court will also examine the offender’s conduct since the offense took place.
Other factors that could be taken into consideration include:
- Length of time since conviction
- General criminal history
- Compliance with the registry
- Employment status
- Relationship status
- Testimony from probation officers and character witnesses
If the court does grant your request for removal, it may do so either in whole or in part. You could be permanently and completely removed from the registry, or the court could lift only specific conditions of registration on a temporary basis, often expecting to revisit possible permanent removal at a later time.
When Can I Petition for Removal?
Petitions for removal may only be filed every two years, so it is essential to present the most effective case possible the first time. In order to save time, hassle and money, it is so important to hire an experienced attorney to help with either the removal from the registry, or to prevent a sex crime conviction entirely.
If you or a loved one has been charged with or convicted of a sex crime, contact Wadkins & Wallace right away to schedule a free and confidential review of your case.