In Pennsylvania, Megan’s Law requires the state to maintain a registry of sex offenders and make that information available to the public. The goal of the law is to help prevent further sexual offenses by providing information to the public about convicted sex offenders in their communities. Understanding the details of Megan’s Law is critical if you have been charged with a sex crime, or if you need to know the requirements of registration. In this post, we’ll explore the background of Megan’s Law, as well as the different tiers of sex offenders, and the registration requirements that go with each.
Megan’s Law was named after Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old from New Jersey who was murdered and sexually assaulted by her neighbor. Megan’s parents were not aware that he was a convicted sex offender, and as a result, they launched a national movement that led to the passage of Megan’s Law in all 50 states. Today, the Pennsylvania State Police maintain the registry of sex offenders in the state, and it is available to the general public online.
Sex offenders in Pennsylvania are classified by the seriousness of their crime, and each tier has different requirements for registration and reporting. Tier I comprises the least serious offenses, such as indecent exposure, while Tier III offenders have committed the most violent or aggravated offenses. The highest level offenders are required to register for life, while lower-level offenders may have their registration requirement lifted after a specified time period.
Registration as a sex offender in Pennsylvania requires a person to report their address and employment information to the state police, and to make yearly updates to that information. However, if a person moves or changes their employment, they must report that to the state police within three days of the change. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements can result in criminal charges and additional penalties.
It is also important to note that being classified as a sex offender in Pennsylvania can have a significant impact on a person’s life even beyond the mandatory registration requirements. Employers, landlords, and others may have access to the public registry, which can make it difficult for individuals convicted of sex crimes to find employment or housing. Consulting with an experienced legal professional can help protect your rights and ensure that you fully understand the legal implications of registration as a sex offender.
Megan’s Law is an important tool in helping prevent sexual offenses and protecting communities in Pennsylvania. Understanding the tiers of offenses and the registration requirements is essential for those who have been accused of a sex crime in Pennsylvania. If you are facing sex crime charges or have questions about registration requirements, The Law Offices of Joseph Lesniak, LLC, can provide the guidance and legal representation you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney.