After most any sex crimes conviction in Virginia, the convicted will be ordered to register as a sex offender for a predetermined amount of time. Lesser crimes may require registration for several years or a decade, but more severe crimes could require lifetime registration that is completed each year.
Regardless of how long registration is mandated, failing to register as ordered by the court can bring its own set of serious penalties.
In many situations, the first time a person fails to meet sex offender registration requirements, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Convictions for misdemeanors of this category can include a yearlong jail sentence and a fine of $2,500.
Any subsequent failure to register will be considered a Class 6 felony that could be punished by the same fine but a five-year prison sentence. Failing to register the first time if convicted of a serious sex crime, such as sexual assault or child pornography possession, is also considered a Class 6 felony.
It will be a Class 5 felony if you fail to register more than once after a conviction of a serious sex crime; Class 5 felonies can be penalized with 10 years behind bars.
Two-Tier Sex Offender Approach
Virginia uses a two-tier approach: violent and nonviolent offenses. The violent tier refers to those who are convicted of a “sexually violent offense” or murder if the murder victim was under 15 years of age or was under 18 and the murder was related to a sexual offense.
The nonviolent tier refers to those convicted of any registerable sex crime that is considered not a sexually violent crime or manslaughter, if the death occurred due to contributing to the delinquency of a child, or the abuse and neglect of a child.
Taking the Initiative to Clear Your Name
Registering to a criminal sex offender list is a frustration. Some people with busy schedules and distractions may understandably miss a registration date. Matters become all the more troublesome if registration must be completed more than once a year and for the rest of the convicted individual’s life.
If you are in such a situation, the right choice might be exploring the possibility of having your name removed from the registry, or reducing how often you need to registry.
How to Be Removed from the Sex Offender Registry
In Virginia, a court will usually only consider removing your name from the sex offender registry after you have already registered for a total of 15 years without incident. 15 years is quite a long time but may not be nearly as long as a lifetime requirement.
To request a more lenient registration schedule, you need to complete three years of registration without incident.
In addition to meeting duration requirements, you may also need to:
- Finish any counseling mandated by your sentencing
- Pass psychological examinations
- Pay in full any court-ordered restitution
- Prove you are not a “public safety threat”
The Law Offices of Daniel J Miller and our attorneys are here to help you understand your sex offender registration requirements, petition to be removed from the list, or defend your rights if you are accused of missing a registration date.
Contact our firm today to set up a free initial consultation with our team.