Criminal convictions often follow people for the rest of their lives. Few, however, carry the extraordinary penalties and social stigma as do sex crimes.
Criminal defense strategies for sexual crimes — rape, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, child sex crimes and so on — usually take into account the unique penalties. These convictions often come with a long period of time with mandatory registration in addition to jail time or fines.
What is the sex crime registry?
The sex criminal registry is simply a list of convicts. A sex crime sentence often dictates a mandatory period of time that someone must remain on the list. As per the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the state views this as a way to supply the public with information about a dangerous situation.
The AZDPS states that this is a tool to help people protect themselves. For those on the registry, however, it typically is a burden that comes with both social and legal restrictions on lifestyle.
Who can use the information?
State and national registries are easily accessible. Basically anyone with an Internet connection may search by radius around a specific address, name and many other criteria.
These records are free and open. They link to various databases. They contain large amounts of personally identifying information, including but not limited to names, home addresses and photographs.
Anyone at any time could access this information. Although most sex convictions result in a limited time on the registry, that time is often in years rather than months. Because of the lasting damage it causes, minimizing its impact is often a central concern in defense strategies.