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Can a Sex Offender Record be Expunged?

March 29, 2019

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Sex crimes are taken seriously and fall into many different categories. Every state, as well as the District of Columbia, have sex offender registries. All persons convicted of a sex crime are required to register as a sex offender. Under state and federal law, sex offender registries include information that publicly identifies anyone who has been convicted of sexual offenses. These offenses include rape, sexual assault, and molestation. In most cases, anyone in the public has access to a range of information about the convicted sex offender, including a photograph, information about the conviction, the offender's current address, the offender's place of employment (or where they attend school), vehicles registered to the offender, and a great deal of other identifying information that makes it difficult for sex offenders to blend into society. The purpose for these registries is to make the public aware of convicted sex offenders who could be a danger to society.

Sex Offender Record
For the sex offender, as you can imagine, registering with a sex offender registry can make life pretty difficult. It can make it hard to get a job, cause issues with neighbors who find out who you are and what you've been charged with, and cause a wide range of other problems. Some sex offenders have been harassed by neighbors who want to drive them out of the neighborhood. Having your private information available to the public when you have been convicted of sex offenses is not something that convicted sex offenders like. Keep in mind, even after a sentence has been served, a sex offender will still have to register as a sex offender.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Every State?

This is where it gets tricky. Although federal law requires all states to have sex offender registries, each state is governed by different laws. Not all sex offenders are required to register in every state, depending upon the crime and the local and state laws. In some cases, registration may be limited to a specific amount of time. Typically, it is up to the offender to register. If they don't, there can be additional penalties, but a lot of states don't even have a penalty when a sex offender fails to register.

Sex Offender Registry

Can a Sex Offender Record be Expunged?

With all of the issues that can arise for someone who is registered as a sex offender, many sex offenders fail to register. Some offenders may seek to have their record expunged. The question is, can a sex offender record be expunged? Again, the laws can vary from one state to another, so if you are looking to get a sex offense expunged, it's important to have a lawyer in your corner. It is not an easy thing to get a sex offense expunged, and in fact, in many cases it isn't possible.

In most cases, unless a convicted offender is later found not guilty for some reason, felony sex crimes can't be removed (expunged) from a record. There is only a small chance that even misdemeanor sex crimes can be removed. Getting a conviction removed from a criminal record is referred to as expunging the record. By law, records that have been expunged are either sealed or the court will dismiss the charge by setting aside a verdict of guilty. In some cases, even a dismissal appears on the record, which can still shed a bad light on someone's reputation, even if they were not truly guilty in the first place. Some instances where a record may be able to be expunged include arrests, citations, records of county jail time, minor violations, non-violent felonies, and misdemeanors. These may not apply to sex offenses, depending on the state you live in. Since the laws can vary so widely from one state to another, hiring a criminal defense lawyer in your area is your best course of action.

Sex Crime Lawyer
In most states, sexual activity or misconduct involving a minor or child can't be expunged under any circumstance. Some offenses that likely cannot be expunged include luring or enticing a child, exposing yourself to children, showing children obscene or sexual material, possession of child pornography, and sexual contact with a child. Some sexual misdemeanors might qualify for expungement. Sexual misconduct or lewd and lascivious behavior, for instance. Again, specific state laws will dictate how this process works. Many factors go into the decision, depending on the circumstances of the case. This is why anyone seeking to have a sex offender record expunged will need to hire a sex crime defense lawyer who understands the process of trying to expunge a sex offense record.

If you are looking for Miami Criminal defense attorneys who can help you get a criminal record of any kind expunged, Donet, McMillan & Trontz, P.A is your best choice. We are a strong criminal defense team that understands the details of trying to get a criminal record expunged, regardless of what type of conviction it may be. Give us a call at (305) 444-0030. We offer a free consultation and we can help you determine the next steps in getting your criminal record expunged.

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