Sex Offender Registration in Georgia

All You Need to Know About the Georgia Sex Offender Registry

If you or a loved one have been charged with the commission of a sex crime, it is necessary to reach out to a defense attorney. Serious consequences are involved if a person is convicted of committing sex offenses. They may be required to pay hefty fines and sentenced to many years of imprisonment.

A convicted offender may also be subject to residency restrictions or employment restrictions. Worse, they will be required to register as a sex offender in the state of residence.

Criminal defense attorneys from Swingle Levin are ready to offer advice and legal support if you or someone close to you is facing charges. Contact a lawyer now to avoid wrongful conviction and false imprisonment.

Understanding Sex Offender Registration in Georgia

The Legal Framework

In Georgia, being charged with a sex crime is a serious matter. Georgia imposes harsh penalties on those who are found to have committed a sexual offense. One of these penalties is mandatory registration as a sex offender.  The primary statute that determines issues related to registration is O.C.G.A. section 42-1-12.

Georgia law defines a sex offender as someone who has been convicted of a dangerous sexual offense. Common examples of sex offenses include the following:

  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Statutory rape
  • Sex trafficking
  • Enticing a minor for indecent purposes
  • Child pornography
  • Child molestation
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Incest
  • Obscene telephone contact with a minor
  • Sodomy and aggravated sodomy
  • Other offenses that involve a minor, such as kidnapping or false imprisonment

Misdemeanor convictions and juvenile adjudications do not generally subject individuals to registry requirements.

Under the Georgia Code, sex offenders are classified as follows:

  1. Level 1: This risk assessment classification is for first-time offenders who do not appear to exhibit predatory behaviors. The offender is a low sex offense risk and has a low chance of repeating the same behavior in the future.
  2. Level 2: This risk class category means that the sex offender is considered a moderate threat to the public. Still, such sexual offender has a possibility of committing another offense.
  3. Level 3: This refers to those considered sexually dangerous predators and thus pose the highest risk to society. They are required to wear monitoring devices for tracking because there is a strong possibility that they will commit another crime or a future dangerous sexual offense.

Registration Requirements

Individuals convicted of sexual offenses in Georgia are required to register the following details in the sexual offender registry within 72 hours of release from incarceration, before and after an address change, and within 72 hours of their birthday:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Race
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair Color
  • Eye color
  • Fingerprints
  • Photograph
  • Address
  • All the other details provided in Section 42-1-12 of the Georgia Code.

Registration is done in person with the sheriff of the county where the sexual offender resides. Importantly, many sheriff’s offices make it extremely difficult to register in a timely manner by restricting the precise times someone can register. If the sexual offender lives in a trailer, the offender should include the details of the motor vehicle or trailer and a description of the vehicle.

If the person moves to another residence, the sex offender should again register in person in the new county.

Compliance and Obligations

Being a sex offender can horribly affect a person’s life. There are restrictions and requirements imposed on the sex offenders. For instance, they must maintain a certain distance from schools, daycares, churches, and other areas frequented by minors. Failure to follow can result in additional penalties and other liabilities.

Also, the sex registry is a public record, which means anyone can access the information provided in the registry. If a person is applying for employment, the potential employer can check the record to determine if the applicant is on the list of sexual offenders.

Legal Challenges and Solutions

In Georgia, individuals listed on the sex offender registry have the option to request removal from the registry under certain conditions. According to OCGA § 42-1-19, the primary requirement is that the individual must fully complete their sentence, including any probationary period. The individual can only apply to remove their name from the registry after fulfilling this requirement.  Swingle Levin has successfully helped many people get off the registry.

If the offender’s sentence is complete, the offender can seek removal from the registry:

  • If 10 years have passed since the completion of the sentence or
  • Based on the evaluation of the Sex Offender Registration and Review Board (SORRB), the person is classified as a Level 1 risk.

Other requirements for eligibility are as follows:

  • No other previous convictions for sex crimes, aggravated child molestation, or crimes against minors.
  • During the sex offense, the offender did not use a deadly weapon.
  • The offender did not transport the victim during the commission of the offense.
  • No physical restraint was done to the victim during the offense.
  • The offender did not intentionally cause physical harm to the victim.
  • There is no evidence of similar offenses, such as uncharged sexual offenses or allegations of other sexual misconduct.

You may want to seek legal advice from Swingle Levin if you or a loved one is seeking to be removed from the registry. Attorneys from Swingle Levin can file a petition and represent sex offenders during removal hearings.

Navigating Life as a Registered Sex Offender

People who are registered sexual offenders tend to live challenging lives. Failure to register, update information, or provide incorrect information is a felony.

Furthermore, societal stigma attached to sex offenders aggravates the condition they are currently in. They often have difficulty dealing with neighbors and society in general. While they have the right to seek and maintain a job, they are not usually allowed to work due to societal judgments and biases.

They are also restricted or banned from seeking specific jobs, such as those involving minors and children. Some even have difficulty finding a place to stay and often have trouble fitting in with the community.

Despite the challenges, sex offenders are still mandated to register. Contact a criminal defense attorney for more information about the registry laws of Georgia for those convicted of sexual offenses.

Swingle Levin’s Approach to Sex Offender Registration Cases

Being involved in sexual offenses negatively impacts a person’s life. It is essential to have an experienced and effective counsel who fights for the rights of the accused.

At Swingle Levin, our lawyers are committed to defending our clients. False accusations of sex offenses happen. Contact our team to avoid wrongful conviction and false imprisonment. We will analyze your case and craft a comprehensive defense strategy that is both practical and promising.

Let a Georgia Defense Attorney Help

Convicted sex offenders in Georgia are required to register in person in the state sexual offender registry. Their names could also appear on the national sex offender registry, the Dru Sjodin national sex offender public website. Even a nonresident sexual offender who has just moved to Georgia is required to register.

If you or a loved one is a registered sexual offender and want to seek help to be removed from the registry, contact us today. We have been helping individuals clear their names from the registry by drafting a detailed petition, getting evaluated by the SORRB, and representing them during the evidentiary hearing in court. Our personalized approach to every client has resulted in remarkable success rates.

Don’t face those sexual criminal charges alone. Hire an experienced criminal attorney to help make sure your rights are protected. Contact us today to speak with an experienced lawyer.