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What It Means to Be a Registered Sex Offender


Wisconsin State legislation calls for mandatory sex offender registration as a penalty to just about every sex crimes conviction. Essentially, if the government determines that you have indeed committed a sex-related crime, it wants to let the public know about it. But how many people can really access the federal lists of sexual offenders? And just what do these lists include? The answers might surprise and upset you.

When your sentencing says that you must add your name to a public list of sex offenders, it really does mean public. Now that basically everyone can access the internet at any given moment, sexual offender registration websites can be viewed whenever and by whoever, and for whatever reason. No court order or warrant is necessary to see the lists. Once a potential employer or landlord sees that you are on a sex offender list, they can discard your application based on this alone without it being considered discrimination. You might also be removed from your current residence if it is within a certain number of feet of a schoolyard.

Information that you need to include on your registration includes:

  • Description of any vehicles you own or operate, if applicable
  • Description of appearance (or a photograph)
  • Name and address of any of your employers
  • Name, nicknames, previous names, and aliases
  • Offense related to registration and other sex crimes
  • Physical mailing address of residence

You may also be surprised to find that you need to complete the registration yourself. Even though it was the court’s idea to make you register, they will not assist you during the process. Furthermore, if you make a mistake on your registration or fail to do so entirely, it may be considered a criminal violation permitting the police to arrest and prosecute you once again.

In the end, mandatory sexual offender registration is something you should try to avoid at all costs. It is simply too damaging to your reputation and your freedoms. By working with a Milwaukee sex crimes attorney from the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella, you can fight to have your charges dismissed or sentencing reduced during your sex crime case. If you have already been convicted, it might also be possible to file for an appeal that could overturn the court’s decision.

Learn all of your legal options today by calling 414.882.8382 and requesting a free consultation.

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