In 1994, the U.S. Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, which required all states to establish and implement some sort of sex offender registration program. Since then, many amendments and additions have been made to laws pertaining to sex offender registration, including the creation of a national online sex-offender registry that is accessible to the general public. While this has been touted as a way to increase public safety, sex offender registries can have severe consequences on the lives of those who are required to register.
When Is a Person Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Connecticut?
Each state is allowed to use its own discretion when it comes to the sex offender registry, and states can choose which offenses require offenders to register if they are found guilty. The state of Connecticut has certain requirements for those who must be included on the sex offender registry and how long they must register. In Connecticut, you are required to register as a sex offender in the following cases:
- You have been convicted of a sexual act or crime against a minor. Registration lasts for at least 10 years, though subsequent convictions require registration for life.
- You were convicted of a non-violent sexual offense. In these cases, registration also lasts for 10 years and typically requires lifetime registration for subsequent offenses.
- You were convicted of a sexually-violent crime. Lifetime registration as a sex offender is non-negotiable in these cases.
- A court finds that a felony was committed for a sexual purpose. In these cases, a person will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
- You were convicted of risk of injury to a minor involving contact with the intimate parts of a child under the age of 16. In these cases, the court will have discretion as to whether to require sex offender registration.
Effects of Sex Offender Registration
Being convicted of a sex crime and required to register as a sex offender can mean your life will be forever changed. When you register as a sex offender, your personal information, including your name, age, address, and the nature of your conviction(s), are all available to be viewed by the general public. This means that your friends and family can see this information, as well as your neighbors, employers, or anyone else who goes looking. Registration as a sex offender can also result in the following consequences:
- Not being able to live in certain places. In many cases, being a registered sex offender means you will be denied housing by certain landlords, or you may not be allowed to live in certain neighborhoods.
- Difficulty finding employment. It is not uncommon for employers to run background checks before they hire an employee. Some companies have specific policies in place that prevent the hiring of anyone convicted of a felony. Other places of employment, such as schools, daycares, and healthcare facilities, may require that you pass a background check looking for crimes against children or sex crimes.
- Negative perception in your community. Because information on the sex offender registry is public, anyone can see it. Though they are not permitted to commit crimes against you, you may find that people have prejudices or biases toward you because of your status.
- Having to re-register or update your personal information periodically. Failing to update your registration information when moving to a new home, obtaining a new job, or at the required intervals could result in non-compliance charges and additional penalties.
Contact Our Hartford, CT Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
If you are convicted of a sex crime and required to register as a sex offender, the consequences can follow you for much longer than the length of your criminal sentence. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we know all too well the effects of sex offender registration and how difficult your life can become as a result. If you are facing accusations of sexual offenses, you should immediately speak with a Connecticut sex crimes defense lawyer. We can provide you with a dedicated defense, and we will work to minimize the potential consequences to your criminal record and your life as a whole. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.