Megan’s Law, or what is more commonly known as the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994, is the federal law according to which every state is mandated to provide information about resident sex offenders to the general public through the Sex Offender Registry, maintained by all states and accessible through the internet. But all the registries for the states differ from each other in terms of the laws pertaining to the offenses which have to be registered, the requisites for the registrants, and other elements. In Pennsylvania, even the individuals who reside out of the state must also register for the sex offense they committed.
Failing to comply with the registration requirements in Pennsylvania will subject him or her to a second or third degree felony charge, and might impose penalties that include a maximum amount of $15,000 fine along with a sentence of imprisonment up to 7 years or a fine amount up to $25, 000 carrying a prison sentence of 10 years. This is done to persuade most of the offenders to adhere to these registration laws. Apart from this, even the non-residents of Pennsylvania who have been convicted of such an offense in this state, irrespective of where they reside, are required to register, given that they (1) study or work in Pennsylvania, and (2) were charged with a violent sexual offense. The non-resident offenders must make the registration within the span of time as determined by the “Tier” related to the offense for which they have been convicted.
For instance, if your alleged crime falls under a Tier I offense, then you will be required to register for 15 years. For Tier II offenses, the registration time will be 25 years, and for Tier III, you will need a permanent registration throughout the lifetime of the offender. Similarly, the offenders under the Tier I category must visit the registration site once every year, and the Tier II offenders have to appear twice every year. And the offenders under Tier III have to make a visit 4 times every year. The transient offenders need to pay a visit every month, irrespective of the Tier under which their offense has been categorized. For those who don’t belong to a particular category will be put under Tier I and have to register for the duration needed by the other jurisdiction.
Offenders who are also Pennsylvania residents must register immediately upon receiving a sentence. Out-of-state offenders have a little extra time, but must register within three business days of either:
The Pennsylvania residents must make their registration immediately after receiving the sentence. But the non-resident offenders will be given a little more time and must do the needful within 3 business days. The PSP then informs the state agency, where the offender presently resides and which is in charge of maintaining the state registry. But the non-residents have to register at home adhering to the laws of the particular state where they reside. Failing to register within the 3 days, even if the cause is a natural disaster, can lead to furthermore criminal allegations and penalties.
When a convicted sex offender registers, they must provide the following information: a DNA sample, a photograph of themselves, their current address, information about their crime, their handprints, and their place of employment.
Registered offenders must check in four times a year to update their information. If they plan to travel to another country, they must tell the authorities well in advance.
Failing to do any of these things is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of five years.
So, you must resort to a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer today if you have been convicted of sex crimes in Pittsburgh or anywhere else in Pennsylvania. Discuss your case with him or her to protect your legal rights and get complete guidance on how to manage the criminal proceedings.