WHEN IS REGISTRATION AS A SEX OFFENDER REQUIRED?

When a person is convicted of a sexually based offense, he or she could face severe and long-term consequences, including being required to register as a sex offender. This could mean difficulty finding a job, restrictions on housing and a reputation as a potentially dangerous person.

If a Pennsylvania resident has been convicted of one or more Tier I, II or III offenses, he or she may be required to register as a sex offender in the state. Additionally, if a person previously convicted of one or more offenses works in the state, but resides in another, or attends a university in the state, he or she could be required to register in Pennsylvania.

Certain out-of-state offenders and some juveniles adjudicated of specific crimes also are subject to the registration requirements of Megan’s Law, a state law designed to protect the public from sexual offenders.

In Pennsylvania, there are several offenses that, if convicted, a person could be required to register. The offenses are categorized by tiers based on the severity of the crime. The tiers designate the appropriate penalties, including the length of time in which a person must be on the registry.

Those convicted of Tier I offenses in Pennsylvania are required to register for 15 years. Some of these could include certain offenses relating to the sexual exploitation of minors, offenses relating to possession of child pornography, indecent assault and sexual abuse of children.

A Tier II conviction in Pennsylvania could mean being placed on the state’s sex offender registry for 25 years. Offenses such as trafficking in individuals, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and sexual exploitation of children are considered Tier II offenses.

If a person is convicted of a Tier III offense, he or she could be forced to register as a sex offender for life. These offenses often are considered some of the harshest. These offenses could include kidnapping, rape, incest, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault and statutory sexual assault.

A juvenile could be required to register if he or she was adjudicated of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault or any attempt, conspiracy or solicitation of the offenses. A child in Tier III previously was required to register for life, but the state Supreme Court ruled last month the requirement was unconstitutional.

Sexual offenders are required to register at the time of sentencing. Out-of-state offenders who are subject to registration must report to an approved Registration Site and register within three business days of establishing a residence, becoming employed or attending school in the state.

Additionally, offenders are required to appear in-person throughout the year at an approved registration and verification site according to their assigned Tier classification. Appearances could include:

  • Tier I offenders — Annually
  • Tier II offenders — Twice a year
  • Tier III offenders —Four times a year
  • Transient offenders —Monthly
  • Juvenile offenders — Four times a year

All sexual offenders are required to report any changes, such as a change in residence, name or employment, within three business days. Failing to do so could mean additional penalties. Fighting a conviction for a sexual offense is critical. An attorney at Skinner Law Firm can help you through the process. Call (267) 388-3476 for a free consultation.

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