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Does the National Sex Offender Registry apply in Louisiana?

For those in Baton Rouge facing federal charges related to sex crimes, a resulting conviction could result in substantially detrimental long-term consequences. Aside from the stigma often associated with such crimes, additional requirements for those convicted on such federal charges can sometimes make life difficult for years to come.

One requirement often associated with sexual crime convictions is mandatory registration as a sex offender. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 created a national sex offender registration system called the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Its purpose is to monitor and track sex offenders after their release into a surrounding community. It requires offenders to provide their name, location, and past offenses to law enforcement. It is a federal crime for an offender to knowingly fail to update his or her registration.

In 1992, even before the national registry's beginning, Louisiana enacted its own law mandating the registration of convicted sex offenders with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. After Congress' enactment of the Adam Walsh Act in 2006, the Bureau now works in conjunction with the National Sex Offender Registry as well.

State offenses that can result in a mandatory reporting to the sex offender registry include a variety of charges - from sexual battery to indecent behavior. Convictions may require various terms for required registration, from 15 years to a lifetime, depending on the crime committed. However, some offenses seemingly non-sexual in nature are also included in the list, such as stalking of a victim under 18 years old and false imprisonment with a weapon of a victim under 18 years of age.

With the stigma and consequences associated with the sex offender registry, being required to report to the authorities for the list can be very harmful to an individual's reputation and future career prospects. For those charged with federal crimes that may require registration, whether the crime is of sexual nature or not, a solid defense is critical. An experienced criminal defense team can help make sure an individual's rights are not taken away without due process of law.

Source: Louisiana State Police, "Program history," accessed Dec. 1, 2014

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