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The risks of sex offender registration violations

Sex offenses are unlike most criminal charges in Missouri. If an individual is required to register as a sex offender, the registry can become the worst penalty of the offense. This is because this requirement may follow an individual long after they have served their time and have been released from incarceration.

And what many fail to realize is that mistakes with the technical requirements of the registry can send a released offender back to jail for something as simple as changing a job or their residence.

In addition, there are other restrictions that can be limit your freedom. On Halloween in Missouri, sex offenders are required to stay in their home during the evening hours, avoid contact with children and post a sign that there is no candy at their home. These restrictions are in spite of the fact that there is little to indicate that Halloween is any different from any other night for putative sex offenses.

Ironically, one man may be charged in Columbia with such a crime. He has been charged with failure to register as a sex offender but stands accused of going to a Halloween party and providing alcohol to a 17-year-old girl.

While the Boone County attorney could file additional Halloween-related charges, the charges for violating the sex offender registration requirements are far more common, and are the easiest for an offender to violate, often inadvertently.

For offenders, these laws can make it difficult to avoid re-incarceration, as they must register within 3-days of moving into the state, they must register in the county where they reside, and if the offense involved someone under age 18, they must register every 90-days.

Other restriction may include prohibitions on living within 1,000 feet of a school and loitering within 500-feet of schools or parks.

And the penalties for violating these administrative rules can be harsh. A third violation carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to 30 years.

Source: columbiatribune.com, "Sex offender accused of violating registry rules," ALAN BURDZIAK, November 20, 2015 

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