The sex offender registry was invented to give both law enforcement and communities the ability to keep sex offenders under watchful eyes — unfortunately, over-reactions by legislatures and over-charging by prosecutors has turned the registry into a tool for punishment that doesn’t always fit the crime.
There are some disturbing ways that someone can end up on the sex offender registry:
— Warm summer nights and romantic interludes on beaches have long been a part of Americana and movies for decades. However, if a pair of romantic lovebird teenagers gets a little too amorous on the beach this summer, both could end up as registered sex offenders if they are seen!
— A minor who engages in “sexting” can end up on the registry because taking naked photos of an underage person is considered pornography. It’s irrelevant that the pictures were taken by the minor himself or herself, and someone who should be treated like a victim is criminalized instead.
— In days gone by, many people have stumbled into a back alley behind a bar to relieve themselves or pulled over to the side of the road for the same purpose when they were too far from a restroom. Even if the individual is discreet, peeing in public is considered worthy of sex offender registration in about 13 states.
These are only some of the numerous examples of the way that sex offender prosecutions are carried too far. Once someone is on the list, they have tremendous restrictions on their lives and are subject to intense scrutiny. Many websites publish the information, which means that every neighbor or potential employer will find out with a quick tap of the keyboard.
Being charged with a sex crime is a devastating experience that can leave your entire future wrecked. You need a strong defense from someone who specializes in this sort of problem and knows how to handle prosecutorial overcharging. For more information on how our firm can help you fight sex crime charges, please visit our page.