Being considered a sex offender in the eyes of the pubic takes a toll on your life in many ways. You can lose job opportunities, college scholarships, and having restrictions placed on your residency. While it isn’t fair, it can even reflect poorly on your family and friends. They may be viewed differently just for being associated with you without anyone actually knowing the circumstances that led to you being placed on the list to begin with.
Even a mistake such as innocently dating someone a few months younger who is still a minor can land you on the registry labeling you as dangerous. The fact is that few people care why your name appears on the sex offender registry. They just assume that if your name appears that you’re a predatory pedophile. A good criminal defense attorney has a shot at getting your name off that list in certain instances.
There are several ways to be placed on the sex offender registry in Connecticut, including committing a:
- Criminal offense against a minor
- Nonviolent sexual offense
- Sexually violent offense
- Sexual offense in another jurisdiction
- Felony for a sexual purpose
If you are placed on the sex offender registry, your personal information that will be available to the public is:
- Your name
- Work, home or volunteer/school address
- Your picture
- Physical description
- Date of birth
- Offenses and date committed
- Probation conditions
Removal is difficult, but not impossible
There are limited instances that will allow you to be removed from the registry in Connecticut. Under Megan’s Law, if you were convicted of a non-violent offense against a minor, the minimum registration period is for 10 years following your release into the community. Lifetime registration is required for other sex offenses leaving you little chance of ever being removed from the registry without having your conviction reversed, vacated or set aside or you must be granted a pardon of innocence.
Connecticut legislators are attempting to pass SB 1113, which would remove low-level sex offenders from the public registry to refocus efforts and resources where they are truly needed – onto high risk offenders. The intent of the new law is to create two registries; one that anyone can see and another that only law enforcement has access to for low-risk offenders. While technically, you could still be on a list, this could provide another avenue for certain offenders to have their information removed from the public eye and be given opportunity to return to a normal life. The new program would look at risks rather than offenses when determining which registry you would be placed on and for how long: 10 years, 20 years, or life.
Once someone has “served” their minimum amount of time sentenced to placement on the registry and complied with any other conditions ordered by the court, he or she can petition the court to be removed entirely from the sex offender registry. In addition to proving that you have not been arrested for a crime requiring registration, and that compliance is in accordance with any applicable law, the court must be persuaded that you are not a current or potential threat to public safety.
When your removal from a sex offender registry relies in part upon convincing a court that you won’t harm anyone again, it would be wise to hire a criminal defense attorney to file the petition and craft an argument on your behalf that will show the judge that you deserve another chance. Victims may be notified of your petition and be given the opportunity to appear and make a statement for or against your being removed from the registry, which can carry a lot of weight with any judge, affecting your chance of a positive outcome.
People make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes have lasting consequences that you never could have imagined. Being placed on a sex offender registry as a low risk offender can mean you lack the ability to get a degree that will allow you to earn a decent living. It can mean you give up the right to live in the neighborhood of your choice. You could even be denied employment.
If you are a resident of Manchester or Hartford and have served your minimum sentence on the sex offender registry or believe that your conviction should be reversed, you need someone who will fight for your rights. Speak with one of our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barrall & Spinella, LLC to schedule your free no-obligation consultation by calling our office at 860-649-4400 or filling out our contact form today.