Georgia takes a very serious and harsh approach to alleged sex crimes. People convicted of crimes of a sexual nature face imprisonment that can last for decades or life.
Additionally, a conviction of one or more of these offenses can bring a lifetime of other devastating consequences, including mandatory registration as a sex offender, problems finding a job, difficulty in finding housing, being labeled by society as a monster, and many other negative consequences.
Accusations of sex offenses, even when someone is innocent, can also have long-lasting consequences that are challenging to handle for most people.
The immediate aftermath of being charged with a sexual offense can be a time of great uncertainty, panic, and hopelessness for the accused individual. It may feel as though there is no possible way to defend against such serious charges; particularly when the alleged victim is a minor.
Like all other states, the Georgia sex offender list is part of the National Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) maintains the Sex Offender Registry (SOR).
Any person can go to the Georgia sex offender registry list on the GBI website to search for a listed offender on the Georgia sex offender registry.
The national sex offender registry can be found at http://www.nsopw.gov.
Because no other criminal offender is more repulsed than a sex offender, very few protections or limitations exist for publicizing this information. People oftentimes monitor offenders near them to see if they fail to register, or relocate to a new residence without prior approval.
While a juvenile does not have to register in Georgia, he or she may be required to register if the juvenile moves to another state. This can create a situation for the child where he is doomed to fail.
Can a person be removed from the SOR in Georgia? Sometimes.
An offender must meet several requirements and hurdles:
- The offender must have completed all required incarceration, parole, probation, and supervision as part of their sentence for the sex offense. Once the offender’s sentence is complete, they can seek removal from the registry if ten years have passed since the end of their sentence; or if the offender has been designated as a Level I risk classification by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board (SORRB);
- The offender must not have any prior convictions for sex crimes or crimes against minors;
- The offender did not use a deadly weapon likely to cause serious harm during their sex offense;
- The offender did not transport the victim during the offense;
- The offender did not physically restrain the victim during the offense;
- The offender did not intentionally cause the victim physical harm; and
- There is no evidence of similar transactions, such as uncharged sexual offenses.
If SORRB classifies the individual as a Level I, or if ten years have elapsed since the offender completed their sentence, the case will proceed to a removal hearing where the judge must determine if the individual should be removed from the Registry.
I am grateful that Governor Deal gave me the opportunity to serve on SORRB. During my term, we voted on hundreds of cases. Some offenders needed to remain on the Registry. However, I was shocked at how many “Romeo and Juliet” situations there were. These offenders needed to be removed.
Of course, there are more serious consequences, like serving life without parole under certain circumstances, when a person is convicted of a sex crime. The above is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the consequences associated with being convicted of a sex crime in Georgia.