If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Wisconsin, you will most likely have to register as a sex offender on the state’s registry. The sex offender registry is a public resource, which means that law enforcement, current or potential employers, or any other member of the general public can view offenders’ sex crime convictions and whereabouts.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, an experienced sexual assault lawyer may be able to help you avoid consequences such as prison, fines, and sex offender registration. Sex offender registration is a serious social and legal consequence of sex crime convictions, but what exactly is the sex offender registry?
What Is The Sex Offender Registry?
The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry is housed online and can be accessed by any member of the general public. Typically, registration includes offenders’ identifying information, terms of probation or supervision, a brief description of sex crime convictions, vehicle information, and employment details.
Some apps and websites, such as Family Watchdog, allow users to search for sex offenders by location and can show your residential address relative to schools and other nearby offenders.
What Are Some Of The Consequences Of Sex Offender Registration?
Given that registration details are so easily accessible, employers may use the database to determine your eligibility for certain jobs. While employment discrimination based on your criminal background is technically not permitted in most cases, in practice, many employers still check the sex offender registry before proceeding with a hire.
Sex offender registration may also limit housing opportunities. In many states, registered sex offenders cannot reside near schools, parks, playgrounds, or daycare centers. Depending on the circumstances of the conviction, housing may also be restricted near nursing homes, places of worship, or certain residences. Sex offenders currently living near these locations when convicted may have to relocate as a result of their conviction.
One of the most severe consequences of sex offender registration is social stigmatization. Even if you are not convicted, sex crime charges may be accompanied by similar social consequences. Friends and family members may distance themselves, and exclusion from social clubs or community events is not uncommon for those charged with a sex crime.
What Sex Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration?
Some sex crime convictions require sex offender registration, while others do not. In Wisconsin, crimes that require sex offender registration include:
- First, second, or third-degree sexual assault of an adult
- First or second-degree sexual assault of a child
- Repeated acts of sexual assault of the same child
- Sexual exploitation by a therapist
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Child trafficking
- Forcing a child to be exposed to sexual activity
- Incest involving a child
- Child enticement
- Using a computer to commit a child sex crime
- Soliciting a child for prostitution
- Child pornography possession
Your best option to combat the employment, housing, and social discrimination that accompanies sex offender registration is to retain a lawyer to help prove your innocence in court. An experienced sex crimes attorney will fight aggressively to protect your rights and demonstrate to the judge and jury that you do not belong on the sex offender registry.