Sex Offender Registration Removal
Clearing your name is beneficial in living a peaceful life. If you need sex offender registration removal services, contact The Waltman Firm. We can help you.
Can Sex Offenders Be Removed From the Sex Offender Registry?
A majority of states in the United States require convicted sex offenders to register as sex offenders with the sex offender registry once they are convicted of a sex crime. The registry offers states and the government a system to track sex offenders and their activities. The idea is that this increases public safety.
In Georgia, some offenders can be removed from the sex offender registry after ten years, but registration is for life in other cases. In most states, an individual must file a petition with a superior court to have their name removed from the sex offender’s list.
Aside from the state’s sex offender registry websites, there is also a National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). The Department of Justice coordinates this. The public can search this database for possible registered sex offenders.
Registration usually means you have to update your information regularly. This involves a visit to the local police department for an annual re-registration. State laws differ, but the inconvenience and stigma remain.
The Impact of Sexual Offender Registration on Offenders
Registration of sex offenders and their families has life-changing impacts and poses significant challenges. Some of these include:
- Difficulties in cultivating relationships
- Public recognition
- Difficulties finding and maintaining suitable housing
- Physical and verbal attacks
- Having no access to any area where minors congregate, preventing you from attending school functions, dropping off your children, or participating in other activities with them.
In addition to the direct impacts on sex offenders, there are also wide-ranging impacts on their families. When neighbors discover the sex offenders’ registration, they may raise safety concerns and may be forced to move from certain neighborhoods or live away from other family members. As a result, individuals often feel isolated, hopeless, and depressed.
A sex offender can apply to have their registration removed. However, before they are eligible for removal, they may have to wait a considerable amount of time. There are certain classes of sexual offenses that cannot be removed.
If you are a registered sex offender and want to clear your name to move on with your life without a constant stigma, contact The Waltman Firm.
Eligibility for Removal From the Sex Offender Registry in Georgia
In the right circumstances, giving offenders a second chance can be beneficial. A second chance can reduce stigma for those seeking rehabilitation. This is not always possible and is subject to state and federal laws.
Under Georgia law, sex offenders remain on sex offender registries for life unless they request removal. The procedure involves petitioning the Superior Court in the county where they were convicted.
To be removed from the registry in Georgia, you must meet strict criteria and submit a petition to the superior court. Firstly, the sex offender must complete their sentence, including required prison time, parole, probation, and supervision. If ten years have passed since completion and the offender has been designated as low risk by the Sex Offender Registration and Review Board (SORRB), they might be eligible to seek removal.
In addition to this, the following requirements must also be met before the court can be approached for removal:
- No prior convictions for sex crimes
- No allegations of crimes against minors
- No allegations of other sexual misconduct against the offender
- No physical harm or sexual battery was done to the victim during the offense
- The victim was not restrained during the crime
- The victim was not transported from one place to another during the crime
- No deadly weapon was used in the offense
The petition of a perpetrator who is deemed a sexually violent predator will automatically be denied, so it is important to speak with an attorney before beginning this process to learn about your options.
The Process of Petitioning for Removal
For removal from the sex offender registry, you may petition the superior court of the state where you were convicted or the county where you live if you were convicted in another state.
Taking a Petition to Court
First, the judge will determine if you are eligible for removal (based on the criteria explained above). Then, they will consider whether you pose an ongoing threat to the community.
In order to be released from your registration requirements and employment restrictions, the court must determine “by a preponderance of evidence” that you “pose no substantial risk of perpetrating a future dangerous sexual offense.” Essentially, “preponderance of evidence” means more likely than not, a standard much lower than “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
During the decision-making process, the court will assess both the original crime and your subsequent behavior. It is important to demonstrate that you have complied with all of your registration requirements, as well as showing your clean criminal record, employment status, and personal circumstances.
To make your case, you can introduce evidence and call character witnesses. Psychologists or other treatment professionals can provide valuable testimony regarding your rehabilitation. Additionally, it is important to gather all relevant documents, such as warrants, indictments, evaluations, and sentencing papers.
Depending on the court’s decision, you may be released from all registration requirements, residency restrictions, and employment restrictions.
Alternatively, it may reject your request. As an alternative, the court can release you from some restrictions but not others – it can choose something in between. In addition, the relief can be either permanent or temporary.
Upon approval of your petition, the court will send orders to your local sheriff, district attorney, Georgia Department of Corrections, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to remove you from the sex offender registry. After a petition is denied, you must wait two years before filing another one.
What Information Must Be Included in Your Petition for Removal?
Typically your petition will contain detailed facts about the following:
- Your mental health history
- Your recent employment history
- Your educational history
- A history of your personal relationships
- Your counseling history should show significant progress and improvement
- Your substance abuse history, if any
- Your detailed treatment history
- Full disclosure of your criminal history and sex offenses
- Details of your support network
- The negative experience that registration continues to effect on you
- Letters of support from family and friends highlighting your rehabilitation0
It is an excellent idea to provide recently updated sexual deviancy evaluations and sexual history polygraphs. A skilled sex offense lawyer can assist you with this.
How The Waltman Firm Can Help You
When petitioning for removal, it is a good idea to use a law firm with the requisite experience and proven track record in this area of law. Our attorneys have years of experience in this area of the law and are alive to the nuances of the law and sexual offenses.
You can count on us to assist you in ensuring that all the relevant information is included in your petition for sex offender registry removal. Contact us for a consultation today.