Removal From, or Reducing the Frequency of, the Sexual Offender Registry (SOR) in Virginia

Understanding the Virginia Sex Offender Registry

One of the most devastating parts of being charged of a sex crime in the state of Virginia is the possibility that you will be forced to officially register on the Sexual Offender Registry (the "SOR"). Due to an upswing in the focus of these types of crimes, whether rape, statutory rape or sexual computer crimes, law enforcement and courts alike have started looking at ways to reduce not only first-time offenders, but also to reduce the risk of repeat offenders.

By forcing the accused to register, they allow the public to access this information. With limited exceptions, individuals convicted of sex crimes must register within three days of release from their previous incarceration. Limited information will then be placed online, and will be used by law enforcement to monitor individuals, with the stated purpose to protect communities, families and individuals.

How often does a sex offender have to re-register in Virginia?

As a general rule, low level sex offenders in Virginia are required to re-register once every year. In the case of those convicted of sexually violent offenses, the re-registration period is significantly shorter and can be a frequent as once every 30 days. For individuals labeled as Sexually Violent Offenders, state law requires that they reregister for the rest of their lives.

Reduction of Sex Offender Registration Frequency in Virginia

Sexually violent offenders: One option for mitigating the negative effects of sex offender registration is to petition for a less frequent renewal of registration. This option often gives individuals a significant sense of relief. Certain factors may affect a person's eligibility for this type of relief, such having a prior conviction for failure to register. The earliest time a person can petition a court, is three years from the date which the duty to register as a sexually violent offender was imposed. Your attorney will have to make the case to the court that you are not a public safety menace and are not a threat to commit a repeat offense, and you will be required to submit to an evaluation.

Non-violent sexual offenders: Every person required to register as a non-violent sexual offender, must reregister on an annual basis from the date of the initial registration, unless directed otherwise.

Removal of an Individual's Name from the Sex Offender Registry in Virginia

As a general rule, after fifteen years, Non Violent Sexual Offenders can petition to have their names and information removed from the Registry.[1] Prior to the Petition being filed, all court ordered treatment, counseling, and restitution must be completed. Thereafter, once the Petition is filed, the court will obtain a copy of the individual's complete criminal history, their registration and reregistration history, and a hearing is required to be held. These hearings can be extensive, but if granted, are very rewarding to the individual seeking relief.

Richmond Lawyer Helping with Sex Offender Registration Questions and Concerns

Being forced to register as an official sexual offender can be a traumatic and devastating effect, and can cause extreme embarrassment. For this reason, if you have been recently charged with a crime, it is imperative that you do not hesitate to secure the necessary legal assistance of an aggressive Richmond sex crime attorney, Debra D. Corcoran. Your future is simply too important to leave up to the whims of chance. You need to be proactive and aggressive in your attempts to protect yourself.

At The Law Office of Debra D. Corcoran, we understand the importance of fighting to protect your rights. We are therefore completely devoted to ensuring that you will receive nothing less than the high-quality and comprehensive legal assistance best suited to your unique case. When working with our firm, you can be sure that we will do everything we can to help protect against the change of registering as a sex offender or the ramifications of failing to register.

[1] Certain exceptions apply.