Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender in Philadelphia?January 26, 2014
Sex Offender Registration
Pennsylvania law provides harsh penalties for sexual crimes, such as rape, sexual abuse, child pornography, and more. First, convicted offenders will likely face jail time, strict probation, and/or large fines. However, once they finish their sentence, the punishment does not end. A law called Megan’s Laws requires convicted sexual offenders to register with a state sex offender registry. Sex offender registration can have a significantly negative impact on your life and reputation for years, and possibly for the rest of your life. If you have been accused or charged of a sex crime, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible for assistance.
The state sex offender registration is made available to the public by the Pennsylvania state police department. This means that anyone—your family, friends, potential romantic partners, potential employers, etc.—can simply go online and see information about you and the charge for which you were convicted. The website displays information such as:
- Date of birth
- Any school in which you are enrolled
- Place of employment and general industry
- Photograph and physical description, including any identifying marks
- Type of vehicle and license plate number
- Description of your offense, date of conviction, date of release from prison
- Whether you have been compliant with the rules of sex offender registry and the date you last updated your information
As you may imagine, having all of this information publicly available on the Internet can be devastating for a person’s personal relationships, job opportunities, and more. The sex offender registry does not take into account whether you maintained your innocence, sought treatment, showed remorse, or any other details of your case. In short, even if you were charged with a relatively minor sex crime and maintained your innocence, you will have to register for either ten years or for the rest of your life. If you do not register, you may face additional criminal charges and punishments.
At The Zeiger Firm, we understand Megan’s Law and related sex registry requirements. Brian Zeiger is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight your underlying charge to try to avoid any registry requirements. Call our office today at 215.546.0340 for help.