Individuals convicted of a sex crime face some of the most severe, life changing, and long-term criminal penalties in the American criminal justice system. From hefty fines to terms of imprisonment, the penalties that come with a sex crime conviction are nothing to take lightly. Although fines and the loss of one's freedom are among the most glaring criminal consequences, penalties such as mandatory sex offender registry have the potential to create the most devastating repercussions.
In an era where jobs are scarce and the employment sector is embroiled with fierce competition, those of us in search for jobs depend substantially upon our reputation. When prospective employers conduct background checks and find a sex crime conviction on one's record, they often leap to negative inferences– no matter how qualified an applicant may be and regardless of the nature of their charge or efforts to put their past behind them. Having a charge on one's criminal record that so many view negatively can seriously impact an individual's professional opportunities, not to mention their financial and personal well-being. Although it may not always be right, fair, or the best method for determining a person's character, the harsh stigmas and connotations that circulate around sex crimes and sexual offenders are profound.
One of the most significant elements of the sex crime penalties in place that perpetuates such a negative social stigma is the sex offender registry. The registry is designed to protect the safety of the general public from those who have been convicted of serious sexual offenses. Unlike many may believe, not all sex crimes are "registerable" offenses. In fact, the state of Missouri establishes specific laws as to which types of sex crimes necessitate mandatory sex offender registry.
Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
Throughout the years, a number of laws and Supreme Court rulings have shaped policies surrounding sex offender registration in Missouri. Aside from procedural requirements, reporting standards, and other issues, Missouri law defines who is required to register as a sex offender. Registration is required for individuals who are:
- Are required to register as a sex offender in another state or foreign country
- Are required to register under federal, military or trial law
- Are convicted of certain offenses, including violent sex crimes and offenses against children
Anyone who falls into one of these categories must register with the Missouri sex offender registry and must comply with a number of laws and regulations. Generally, individuals will remain on the registry for life, unless they are formally removed by order of a court or through other legal means. For many convicted offenders, having one's private information on the registry and having to comply with the many requirements in place create numerous hurdles and challenges that have a profound and lasting impact on one's life.
If you, a loved one, or someone you care about is facing criminal charges for a sex crime, allow our team of Missouri sex crime lawyers to review your case, inform you about your allegations, and explain whether a conviction may require you to register as a sex offender. In addition to explaining the potential penalties you may face, our legal team can explore your defense options and discuss the ways in which we may be able to protect your freedom and future. Contact The Hammer Law Firm, LLC to discuss your case.