The General Assembly in the state of New Jersey passed several bills in 1994 requiring the disclosure of information about convicted sex offenders to the general public. These bills collectively became referred to as Megan’s Law, named for Megan Kanka, a murder victim. It was proposed that this compiled information be shared in what’s now called a Sex Offender Registry. Even though this registry is of use nationwide, every state’s laws regarding sex offenses differ. Therefore, the sex offender registry requirements will subsequently vary as well. Below is information specific to Pennsylvania.
Mandatory placement on Pennsylvania’s sex offender registry
Many crimes can lead to the mandatory placement on the registry, including misdemeanor crimes like unlawful restraint and felonies like rape. With the registerable offenses covering such an expansive scope of severity, how long an offender remains on the registry is dependent on the nature of their conviction.
There are three numeric tiers in the state of Pennsylvania that registrable offenses are divided into including:
- Tier I: includes child endangerment, but not necessarily a sex offense.
- Tier II: includes sexual assault, and could potentially have the designation of Tier I or Tier II depending on the factors of the case. These individuals could be on the registry for up to fifteen years.
- Tier III: includes the requirement of a lifetime registration, particularly if convicted of either the Tier I or Tier II offenses. An additional felony charge could be imposed if the individual is not in compliance with Megan’s Law.
Help from a criminal defense attorney
For those who are facing a sex offense conviction in the state of Pennsylvania, it’s critical that you seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you become a registered sex offender in the state of Pennsylvania, it will follow you around throughout the rest of the country and create a host of professional, social and financial difficulties. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, you can better determine a long-term strategy for your situation.