If you are convicted of rape, aggravated sexual battery, child pornography, or another designated crime, you would be required to register as a sex offender on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry. It is important to know how to register and renew your registration. If you fail to comply with these requirements, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense and face additional punishments if convicted.
How to Register as a Sex Offender
The requirements for registering on the Sex Offender Registry are stated in Virginia Code §9.1-902. Anyone required to register must do so with the sheriffs or police department where they live within three days of being released from prison or jail. They must do the following:
- Have their photo taken
- Provide a DNA sample for the DNA bank
- Give their email address and any other user ID
- Have their fingerprints and palm prints taken
- Provide information regarding their job
- Give registration information for any car, boat, or aircraft they own
- Supply proof of where they reside
In addition, they must submit new information in any of these circumstances:
- If they move within Virginia, they must register with the sheriff or police department where they moved to within three days of their move.
- If they plan to leave Virginia, they must notify the sheriff or police department where they registered at least 10 days before their move.
- They must update their information within three days of obtaining new employment or a new vehicle registration.
- Changes to an email address, instant message or chat room name, or other internet user name must be reported within 30 minutes of the change.
Requirements to Renew Sex Offender Registration
Individuals who must register as a sex offender are also required to update their registration on an annual basis. However, they would have to update their information every 90 days if they were convicted of a sexually violent crime or murder.
In addition, if there was a failure to register, renew a registration, or false information was provided, the reregistration period would be shortened to 180 days for an annual registration requirement. A 90-day registration requirement would be shortened to every 30 days.
When Do Non-Residents Have to Register?
Individuals required to register as a sex offender in their home state must register in Virginia if they come here for an extended visit, work, or school. They must do so within three days of entering the state.
If you violate the rules regarding registering on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony if this is not the first offense. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help navigate the harsh consequences you face. To find out about your options and how we can assist you, call our Manassas office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.