In Virginia, you must register as a sex offender on the Sex Offender Registry if you are convicted of a specified violent crime or a sex offense. You could be charged with another crime and face harsh penalties if you do not comply with this requirement.
Who Is Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Virginia?
Virginia Code §9.1-902 lists what crimes require registration on the Sex Offender Registry. They include:
- Rape or attempted rape
- Forcible sodomy
- Object sexual penetration
- Sexual battery
- Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography
- Entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony
What Are the Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender?
You can face additional charges for failing to register with the Sex Offender Registry or providing false information. You could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on whether this is your first violation and whether the crime you were convicted of committing was a nonviolent or violent offense. Punishments you may face include:
- Class 1 misdemeanor. If this is your first offense and was convicted of a nonviolent sex crime, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Class 6 felony. You would be charged with a Class 6 felony if this is a second or subsequent violation and you are a nonviolent offender, or you were convicted of a violent sex offense or murder. The penalty could include a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine not to exceed $2,500. However, the judge or jury has the discretion to sentence you to up to 12 months in jail instead.
- Class 5 felony. If you are convicted of a violent sex offense or murder, and this is a subsequent violation, you could be charged with a Class 5 felony. The punishment could include one to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Have you been charged with failing to register as a sex offender? Are you facing other criminal charges? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can mount an aggressive defense strategy to fight the charges you face. Call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR, or fill out our online form today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.