Being on the sex offender registry is a stigma that most would rather avoid. Depending on the severity of your offense, going on the sex offender registry may include having your personal information and picture online and shared with various law enforcement. It may also involve fliers with your address, photograph, and case information for prospective employers, community groups, schools, and neighbors to see.
It’s unlikely that someone can have their name removed from the sex offender registry in Arizona. However, it may be possible to get your charges dismissed or diminished if the crime was a lesser offense such as indecent exposure. Common sexual crimes include sexual assault, child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor, and more.
Sex Offender Registration in Arizona
- Sex offenders are classified as levels 1, 2, or 3 in terms of the risk they pose to society
- Depending on the severity of your offense, you may end up on the sex offender registry for life
- Having your name removed from the sex offender registry is unlikely, but you might be able to have the charge lessened for a minor offense
- It’s imperative that you speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney if you’ve been accused of any type of sexual offense
Depending on how serious the sex crime was, an offender will get a level assigned to them for the offense. In some states, sex offenders in the level 1 category go on the registry for 15 years and are classified as low risk. Level 2 offenders must go on the registry for 25 years and are considered a moderate risk, while level 3 sex offenders go on the registry for life and are in the highest risk category. In Arizona, however, registration is for life unless you petition the judge for removal or your case was filed in juvenile court.
Consequences of Being on the Sex Offender Registry
Being on the sex offender registry can cause significant difficulties for you in life, so you may want to ask your attorney about terminating your requirement to sign up as an offender. Here are some consequences to consider:
In some cases, sex offenders will be prohibited from living close to playgrounds, daycares, schools, or parks. This can make it very difficult to find a place to live that covers your personal needs and requirements.
Child Custody Complications
Being on the sex offender registry can hurt your chances of getting child custody, regardless of what your offense was.
Along with housing restrictions, you may also encounter limitations on job opportunities. For example, you may be restricted from working at a spa, salon, clothing stores with a changing room, schools, or positions of power over another person such as a psychiatrist or doctor.
Intolerance and Prejudice
As soon as you’ve been convicted and go on the sex offender registry, your acquaintances, friends, and family may see you as an outcast or threat.
Penalties for Sexual Offense Crimes in Arizona
Sexual offenses in Arizona are taken extremely seriously and come with severe penalties in the event of a conviction. Sometimes, when you receive a sexual offense conviction, you aren’t given the chance to plea bargain the case. The state has mandatory sentencing laws requiring a prison term between five and 14 years for rape, and 13 to 27 years for sexual crimes involving minors.
You may receive “flat time” for your term of imprisonment, meaning you cannot get an early release. Sometimes, the risk assessment or psychological evaluation will determine that a defendant poses a serious threat or risk to the community. In some cases, diagnostic testing will find that an offender poses a low risk of re-offending. This could lead the judge or the state to determine that the offender is a suitable candidate for a lessened incarceration sentence or probation and may return to the community.
Possible Defenses for Sexual Offenses
Some sexual offense allegations are either exaggerated or fabricated from a person who is confused, scared, or angry about something. For a conviction to occur, there must be evidence that proves you are guilty. A few potential defenses are mistaken identity, consent from the alleged victim, innocence, tainted evidence, insufficient proof, illegal acquisition of evidence, and mental illness.
Frequently Asked Questions on Sex Crimes in Arizona
Here are some common questions related to sex offenses in this state:
Q: Who is responsible for registering sex offenders in Arizona?
In this state, the country sheriff must register the offenders who reside within the county. Even if your offense was non-sexual, you can still be ordered to go on the sex offender registry if the judge believes your actions had a sexual motivation.
Q: What will happen to a sexual predator in Arizona?
Once a sexual offender is determined to be a “predator,” they will be sent to the State Hospital. Once they are finished with their sentence and cleared for release, they will be reviewed to see if they fit the profile of a violent sexual predator. If they’re determined to be a dangerous predator, they may be committed to the hospital and reviewed annually to check for whether they’re ready to rejoin society with the “predator” label removed.
Q: Do juveniles have to go on the sex offender registry?
Registration isn’t mandatory for juvenile offenders, even if they committed an offense that would have required them to sign up had they been an adult. Keep in mind, however, that the judge can require them to go on the sex offender registry until they are 25 years old.
Q: Are sexual offenders allowed to live near schools?
Certain types of sexual offenders aren’t allowed to live near daycares or schools. These restrictions are defined in more detail in ARS 13-3827.
What to Do if You’re Facing Charges
If you’ve been accused of committing a sexual offense in Arizona, it’s crucial that you obtain legal representation. Being on the sex offender registry can severely affect your life in negative and inconvenient ways. A skilled criminal defense attorney can answer your questions, review your case with you, and help you come up with a plan of action. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.