Obtaining Relief From Sex Offender RegistrationComments Off on Obtaining Relief From Sex Offender Registration
A sex offense conviction can be a life-altering event, affecting your ability to seek employment, find a place to live, and maintain your relationships. In addition to prison time and fines, the court may also order you to register as a sex offender. These registration requirements could follow you for life, and it can be difficult to get off the registry in Washington state. In some cases, you could petition the state for removal.
Washington Sex Offender Registration Requirements
According to RCW 9A.44.130, any person who has received a conviction for any sex or kidnapping offense must register as a sex offender for a certain period of time. Depending on the type of charge that you receive and your sex offender level, you may need to register for life, 15 years, or 10 years.
- Any person who receives a Class A felony conviction or has one or more prior sex offense convictions must register as a sex offender for life.
- A person who receives a Class B felony and does not have any prior convictions must register as a sex offender for 15 years, beginning on the date that he or she leaves prison, or the court enters the judgement.
- A person who receives a Class C felony and does not have any prior convictions must register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Washington also assigns each sex offender a level based on the nature of his or her crime and the risk to his or her community.
- Level I offenders pose the lowest risk and are not likely to reoffend. The state does not publish these names unless the offender is not compliant with registration requirements or is transient.
- Level II offenders pose a moderate risk to the community and may commit another sex offense. These names are published.
- Level III offenders pose the highest risk to the community and are the most likely to reoffend. These names are also published.
Requirements to Request Registration Removal
If you have a Class B and Class C conviction, the court will automatically remove the requirement after your 10 or 15-year requirement ends. Under RCW 9A.44.142, anyone can petition the court for registry removal. However, you can only petition for removal from Washington’s sex offender registry if you meet certain criteria.
- The state has not declared that you are a sexually violent predator, or you have not received a sex crime conviction involving compulsion.
- You do not have any additional disqualifying offenses over the past 10 years. These include felony convictions, sex offenses, domestic violence convictions, or other violent crime convictions.
- You completed a waiting period of at least 10 years between your sentence and the date of your petition.
- You paid all of your court-ordered fines and restitution.
Individuals who received a Class A felony conviction and a lifetime registration requirement are not eligible for automatic removal. You will need to petition the court to lift the requirement if you have this charge, providing clear and convincing evidence that you are not likely to reoffend. Contact our Tacoma sex crimes lawyer to discuss if your case qualifies for a sex offender registration removal.
Seeking Legal Help for Sex Offense Charges
If you are facing charges for a sex offense or trying to remove your name from the registry, you need an attorney on your side. A Washington criminal defense lawyer can defend you against the charges, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Your lawyer can also explain your options for registry removal and can assist you with your petition. As soon as possible following your arrest, contact an attorney to discuss your steps forward.