Being convicted of any criminal offense has the potential to destroy a person’s life. A conviction can come with serious consequences from a prison sentence to huge fines and penalties. However, if a criminal offense is of a sexual nature, the ramifications can be even harsher.
If you are convicted of rape, statutory rape, child pornography or other sexually-related crime, you could be required to register as a sex offender. This designation could impact your life in ways you may not anticipate. Besides the stigma that can come with being a registered sex offender, there are also numerous other restrictions that can be placed on your life.
To begin with, you could be prohibited from living, working or loitering in areas with children present. You may be prohibited from going to libraries and shopping malls; you may no longer be allowed to visit your child at school or attend any of his or her school or extra-curricular events; you could have to move and steer clear of any parks and schools.
Your use of the Internet could also be greatly restricted. Virginia laws state that registered sex offenders must provide their email addresses and user names to police which can allow them to track any potentially unlawful behavior.
Further, even after you have completed the other terms of a criminal sentence, you will still need to notify authorities of where you are live, where you work and what type of car you drive. Any time you move or travel, you will need to notify authorities. You will also need to have your picture taken every two years and have a thorough physical description available. This information can be accessed by members of your community.
Considering all that is required of registered sex offenders and how damaging the designation is, an aggressive defense and avoiding a conviction in the first place will be crucial. Working with a criminal defense attorney can be a critical step in pursuing the dismissal or reduction in charges.