Georgia treats sex crimes seriously, and you may be considered a “sex offender” if you have committed certain offenses. If you are facing this type of scenario, you may be wondering how this will affect your life going forward. There are a number of considerations that you need to keep in mind, and you should be aware of all of the potential legal ramifications.
There are ways to limit the potential impact of your status as a sex offender. Seeking help from a qualified legal expert is always a smart move, and it is important to give yourself the best chance going forward. Failing to take this seriously could result in all kinds of limitations in your life.
What is a Sex Offender?
In Georgia, sex offenders are defined as individuals who have committed a dangerous sexual offense against a victim or any sexual offense against a minor. Note that these offenses do not need to take place in the state of Georgia. Anyone who is considered a sex offender in another state or territory is also considered a sex offender in Georgia.
You Must Register as a Sex Offender
If you classify as a sex offender under the definition above, you must register as one in the state of Georgia. The courts will make it clear that you are now considered a sex offender, and you will have a limited amount of time to register. To do so, you must meet in person with the sheriff of the county in which you reside. Note that you only have 72 hours in which to register following your release from jail or being placed on parole.
If you fail to register within 72 hours or provide false information, you face a felony charge. This felony offense involves a prison sentence of at least one year and a maximum sentence of 30 years. If you fail to register as a sex offender more than once, you face a minimum prison sentence of five years.
Possible Consequences of Sex Offender Status
There are a number of possible consequences that you may face as a registered sex offender. Because the registry is public, anyone can figure out that you are on the list. This means that your potential employers can discover this information, severely limiting your career opportunities. Many sex offenders suffer from damaged or destroyed careers.
Other individuals, such as romantic partners and neighbors can also view the list. You may find it difficult to form relationships with people as a result. In addition, sex offenders must constantly let the sheriff’s office know where they live. Failing to “check in” with sheriffs regularly can result in serious consequences.
Getting Legal Help
If you are a sex offender or you are concerned that you might become one in the near future, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. Your reputation and your quality of life may depend on it. Reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today and get the legal help you deserve.