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What is the sex offender registry?

Memphis residents do not tolerate those who commit sex crimes. Though focus is often rightly shifted to a victim, it is important to note that sexual assault allegations are emotionally traumatizing for everyone involved, and the mere accusation of a sex crime can cause irreparable harm to an accused individual's reputation. For those who are convicted of a sex crime can find themselves in a tough situation where they must register as a sex offender in addition to serving a prison sentence.

A database of sex offenders is maintained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Convicted sex offenders are required to register as a sex offender with a registering agency. This includes any convicted sex offender from other states as well. A sex offender is required to register annually or quarterly, depending on if they are classified as a sexual offender or a violent sexual offender. Anyone who is classified as a violent sexual offender is required to register for life. Anyone else may apply for a termination from the registry after 10 years. If an offender does not register, then he or she can be charged with a felony, which may result in a revocation of parole.

In addition, Tennessee communities may choose to notify their citizens if a sex offender moves into the area. Community members, schools, and childcares within a certain distance of where the sex offender is to reside may be notified by mail. Notification may also be included in the newspaper, at police stations, and within homeowner's associations.

Anyone who is listed on the sex offender registry knows that it can have a profound impact on their life. Those who are facing sex crime charges may therefore want to contact a legal professional who is skilled in criminal defense. It is important for those who are accused to be able to tell their side of the story and present their defense in hopes of avoiding damaging, long-lasting penalties.

Source: TN Board of Parole, "Frequently asked questions about parole", accessed on Jan. 11, 2015

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