Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Virginia
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In addition to prison or jail time, as well as fines, one of the penalties of being convicted of a sex crime is the registering as a sex offender. Even once you’ve finished your sentence, law enforcement will continue to monitor your actions and whereabouts closely. Not only do the police keep track of you, but any person can determine where you live and that you were previously convicted of a sex crime.
Registering as a sex offender can ban you from visiting specific places, such as schools or even internet sites. It can be difficult to apply for a job or an apartment when someone discovers about your past sex crime, which is why it is tempting to avoid registering as a sex offender. However, it can lead to more serious consequences.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we understand the hardships associated with registering as a sex offender and what it takes to petition for less frequent registration renewals or even removal from the registry altogether. With more than 20 years' experience, our lawyer has a thorough understanding of Virginia laws to help you navigate through the complexities of the legal system.
Penalties for Failing to Register
Failing to register as a sex offender in Virginia or proving false information is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor for the first offense if the offender's sex crime was non-violent. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. A subsequent conviction for failure to register is a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine of $2,500.
If you have been convicted of a violent sex crime or murder, failing to register or providing false information is a Class 6 felony. A second or subsequent offence is a Class 5 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Petitions for Removal of Registry or Less Frequent Registration
After 15 years, some non-violent sex offenders can become eligible to have their names removed from the sex offender registry. They must complete all court-ordered counseling, treatment, and payment of restitution, as well as provide evidence to the court that they no longer pose a threat to public safety.
Unfortunately, this option is not available to those who have been convicted of a violent sex crime or murder. However, after three years, Virginia allows violent sex offenders to petition to have the re-registration period changed from every 90 days to once a year. If you are required to re-register at a more frequent basis due to a prior conviction of failing to register or providing false information to the registry, you can petition after five years for a reduction in frequency.
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There are many complicated issues surrounding the petition to eliminate or alter your requirement to re-register as a sex offender. Having our experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can be crucial in successfully submitting your petition. Do not hesitate to get the legal assistance necessary to get your life back on track.
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