If you are facing charges for any type of sex offense in Virginia, from criminal offenses like indecent exposure (Code of Va. § 18.2-387) to rape charges (Code of Va. § 18.2-61), you will likely be required to register on the Virginia sex offender registry upon conviction. In Virginia, in addition to facing the possibility of a lengthy prison term upon conviction of a sex offense, being required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry program can have significant consequences for your professional, social, and political life. Accordingly, it is extremely important to have an experienced Fairfax sex crimes defense lawyer who can help you to fight these charges. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about the sex offender registry in Virginia.
- Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act Governs the Sex Offender Registry in Virginia
While there is a national sex offender registry, the Virginia state registry is governed by the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, which requires that anyone convicted of listed sex offenses in July 1994 or afterward to must register.
- Conviction of Certain Criminal Offenses Requires Registry with the Virginia State Police
If you are required to register as a sex offender in Virginia, you must register with the Virginia State Police, and you must do so in person. When you register, you will be required to bring proof of residency and two photographs, and to supply your fingerprints. It is important to know that you will only have three days to register a new address with the local police department or other law enforcement agency.
Even if you are only working in Virginia but living in another state, you will still be required to register with the Virginia State Police. For example, if you work in Manassas but live in Maryland or in Washington, D.C., you will need to register with the Virginia State Police if you have been convicted of certain offenses.
- Your Name Will Be On the Registry for at Least 15 Years
If you are convicted of a sex offense and are required to register on the sex offender registry, your name will stay on the registry for at least 15 years. Depending upon the specific offense, if you have not been convicted of another related offense or multiple offenses, you may be eligible to petition to have your name removed from the sex offender registry.
- Virginia Police Can Show Up at Your Home and Your Place of Work
Virginia police will be required to come to your home every six months, and police also can appear at your place of employment. Home visits are unannounced, and they are required. Visits to a registered sex offender’s place of employment are not required, but any person who is on the registry cannot refuse a visit to his or her place of employment.
- Your Name Will Be Searchable on the Virginia Sex Offender Database
Anyone in any state, including your own neighbors and co-workers, will be able to search the Virginia sex offender registry and will be able to see your name and information. To avoid being entered into the sex offender registry, you will need to beat the charges you are facing.
Contact a Fairfax Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing charges for any type of sex offense in Virginia, it is extremely important to have an aggressive Fairfax criminal defense attorney on your side who can develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case. At Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C., our experienced team can speak with you today about possible defense strategies to help you fight the charges you are facing. Contact Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C. for more information about how we can assist you.