Sex Offender Registry Issues Virginia, like every other state in the country, has a Sex Offender Registry, which lists everyone in the state who has been convicted of certain sex crimes. The statute that established the Sex Offender Registry was first passed in , and it has been amended every few years every since. There are four things that a lawyer can do for someone on the Registry: File a petition to have him taken off the Registry.
We get a lot of calls from people who want to get off the list, and there is absolutely nothing that we can do. He was involved in two appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court over the application of the statute that allows courts to permit a sex offender to go onto school property.
In the first case, Commonwealth v. John Doe , Va. So if he lived in Charlottesville and was given a no-trespass notice by the Charlottesville schools, he could still go onto the property of private schools, or of the schools of Albemarle County or any other city or county. The statute was passed to provide that a sex offender is not permitted on any school property, and if he is found on school property it is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
But the statute gave the power to the Circuit Court to permit the sex offender to go on to school property. The Supreme Court ruled that the Circuit Court could remove the felony ban, and leave it to the School Board to work it out with the sex offender on a case-by-case basis.
If you are on the Sex Offender Registry and want to be able to go onto school property for legitimate purposes related to the education of your children, we may be able to help. Finally, there is an important issue that needs to be discussed. The Court applied a seven-part test to decide that the Alaska statute was civil. The Court found that five of the criteria were seriously at issue: But where, in addition to being on the list, offenders are told where they can and cannot go, they have to tell the state police about every computer that they use, and in some states they are not permitted to live within 1, feet of a school, park or library, at some point those conditions become sufficiently harsh that they have to be called punishment.
The Sex Offender Registry Act does not promote the traditional aims of punishment — rehabilitation, isolation from society, retribution, or deterrence. But when the Sex Offender Registry scheme involves isolating someone from society by not permitting them to associate with children, perhaps Sex Offender Registry Act, with all of its conditions, begins to look more like punishment. The Registry has a rational connection to a legitimate nonpunitive purpose, public safety, which is advanced by alerting the public to the risk of sex offenders in their community.
Part of the proof here would involve testimony from sex offender therapists that most of the people on the list are not at all likely to commit another sex offense. That may have been the case in , but the statutes have changed since then.
A court may decide that the version of the Registry presents a very different analysis. Dipiazza, Mich App , , NW2d , This is a complicated area of the law. If you are a sex offender and you need help figuring out what you can and cannot do, call us at