When people are convicted of a sex offense, the court will require them to register their information with the Sex Offender Registry. This registry is an up-to-date record of sex offenders in the District of Columbia and their addresses. The registry is publicly accessible, meaning any person can look up a defendant’s registration status.
One of the harshest consequences of a sex crime conviction is mandatory sex offender registration. In many cases, defendants are more afraid of registration than they are of jail time, and for good reason: the effects of registration last far longer than the effects of imprisonment.
If you’re facing a sex crime charge, it’s vital that you speak with an experienced sex crime defense law firm as soon as possible. As Maryland sex crime defense attorneys, Gracia & Mintz is prepared to defend you from any charges of misdemeanor or felony sexual violence.
When Am I Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Washington, D.C.?
The Sex Offender Registration Act in Washington, D.C. requires any person who lives, works, or attends school in D.C. to register as a sex offender if they’re convicted of a sex offense (or found not guilty by the insanity defense). Sex offenders are classified into three classes: A, B, and C offenders. The online database for the Sex Offender Registry only lists class A and B offenders; class C offenders are listed in the physical registry at specific locations.
Registration-required sex offenses include:
- Felony sexual assault
- Sexual abuse or exploitation of minors
- Sexual abuse of people in the care of the offender
For the final item on this list, “people in the care of the offender” includes patients, wards, and clients.
The Consequences of D.C. Sex Offender Registration
If a person is convicted of a sex offense or found not guilty by insanity, then their information will be forwarded to the Court Services and Offender Supervisory Agency, who completes the initial registration. The agencies authorized to mandate registration include the District of Columbia Superior Court, the Department of Corrections, and the Forensic and Mental Health Unit of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
The effects of sex offender registration in D.C. includes:
- Mandatory registration wherever you move
- Restricted residency near schools, parks, and other places
- Limited employment options, especially jobs working near children
- Immediate loss of child custody
- No privacy: neighbors can look up your registration status at any time
- Social prejudice at work, in community, and within family
Charged with Failure to Register?
Refusal to register as a sex offender is not an option. The first violation is charged as a misdemeanor, but subsequent failures to register are charged as felonies. There is no way to escape registration, which is why it’s vital to get a defense attorney as soon as possible if you’re facing sex crime charges.
Gracia & Mintz is a firm that brings together a former prosecutor and a former law enforcement officer, both of whom now work exclusively on behalf of the accused. Our law enforcement experience gives us insight into how your case is being handled by the other side, giving us a competitive edge. We’re true trial lawyers and tireless advocates for people facing serious charges.
Call us 24 hours a day for a free consultation: (301) 842-8584.