Convictions for certain crimes can carry significant penalties above and beyond jail time or fines. For example, in Virginia, persons convicted of certain sex offenses may be required to register with the State Police and be listed in a publicly searchable database.
There are a number of charges for sex offenses that, upon conviction, require a person to register as a sex offender. For example, sex crimes where force was used are included, as are crimes that involve minors. Additionally, many offenses can mandate lifetime registration, as can involvement in activities related to sex trafficking, prostitution and child pornography.
The goal of the Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry is to aid in protecting members of the public by making conviction information easier to access. Anyone can access and search the database – including prospective employers and landlords.
The database itself details comprehensive information about the registrant. Some of the information is provided by the state, including the details of the criminal conviction. In addition, the registrant is required to provide personal identifying information, such as a current photo and address, place of employment and vehicle registration information. For those convicted of qualifying crimes, the registry requires the long-term exposure of personal information and can greatly affect an individual’s ability to move past a conviction and become a productive and contributing member of society.
Because of the severe and long-lasting consequences that can result from being included in Virginia’s sex offender registry, it is important that individuals who are facing sex crime charges obtain help from a qualified criminal defense attorney. An experienced legal advocate can review the circumstances of a case and work to achieve the best possible outcome.