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GEORGIA SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION LAWS

Posted by Sean A. Black | Oct 02, 2012 | 89 Comments

On May 20, 2010, Governor Perdue signed into law House Bill 571.  It made important changes to Georgia’s sex offender registry laws.  Because I believe that it is important for people effected by this legislation to know about it, I have put together a summary.  You should check with your county sheriff and/or your probation or parole officer before changing your behavior.The clear purpose of the law seems to be to reduce the number of registrants to those who likely pose some risk to the community.

Employment and Residence Restrictions Were Reduced

The restrictions that apply to a person is now based on the restrictions which were in place in the law at the time of the offense conduct. If the offense conduct occurred prior to June 4, 2003, the employment and residence restrictions will not apply to the registrant.  O.C.G.A. §§ 42-1-15, 42-1-16, 42-1-17.If the offense conduct occurred between June 4, 2003 and June 30, 2006, there are restrictions on the location of the registrant’s residence but not on the registrant’s place of employment.  The residence cannot be within 1000 feet of any child care facility, school, public park, private park, recreation facility, playground, skating rink, neighborhood center, gymnasium or similar facilities providing programs or services directed toward persons under age 18.  If the offense conduct occurred after June 30, 2006 and on or before June 30, 2008, the registrant has restrictions on place of residence and place of employment.  The residence cannot be within 1000 feet of any child care facility, church, school, public park, private park, recreation facility, playground, skating rink, neighborhood center, gymnasium, school bus stop, or public or community swimming pool.  The place of employment cannot be employed by any child care facility, schoo or church or by or at any business or entity located within 1000 feet of a child care facility, school, or church.If the offense conduct occurred after June 30, 2008, then there are restrictions on place of residence and employment.The residence cannot be within 1000 feet of a child care facility, church, school, public park, private park, recreation facility, playground, skating rink, neighborhood center, gymnasium, school bus stop, public library, or public or community swimming pool.  The registrant cannot be employed by or volunteer at any child care facility, school or church, or by or at any business entity located within 1000 feet of a child care facility, school or church.With regard to registrants whose offense conduct occurred after June 30, 2006, there is ongoing litigation about whether the school bus stop provision can be enforced.  Most counties do not have designated bus stops and those that do are not enforcing the bus stop provision while the litigation is pending.If a registrant has established residence or employment and a facility such as a child care facility, church or school is established or moves within 1000 feet of the registrants residence or employment location, there is a procedure by which the registrant can petition to establish the right to remain at the residence or employment under certain circumstances.It should be noted that the rules regarding church have been modified.  Registrants who are barred from volunteering at a church can still perform a number of roles in a church.  Volunteering at a church has now been defined to mean engaging in an activity which would ordinarily be employed for compensation which involves in working with, assisting or being engaged in activities with minors.  It does not include participation in activities for persons 18 years of age or older only, participating in worship services, or engaging in religious activities or activities at a place of worship which do not involve supervising, teaching, directing or otherwise participating with minors who are not supervised by an adult who is not a registrant.The rules regarding homeless registrants have also changed.  A registrant who is or becomes homeless must register in person with the sheriff of the county in which he is sleeping within 72 hours of that status change, provide information on the location where he or she sleeps, maintain the required registration information for each sheriff of a county where he or she sleeps, report his or her registration within 72 hours of changing sleeping locations, and annually renew his registration within 72 hours prior to his or her birthday each year.  Registrants are no longer required to provide their email addresses, usernames and user passwords to law enforcement as part of the registration process.

Some Registrants May Be Eligible to be Removed from the Registry

The prior law provided that a person on the sex offender registry could petition to be removed from the registry.  That process could only be initiated once ten years had elapsed from the completion of the person’s sentence.

The completion of the sentence would be the later of the person’s release from prison, parole, supervised release or probation.The new law will allow for a petition to be made to be relieved of the employment and residence restrictions and from the registration requirement.   This can often be done prior to the previous ten year requirement. Risk Classification If the person is classified by the Sex Offender Registration Review Board as a level I risk assessment classification, then they may file a petition immediately, if the registrant has completed all prison, parole, supervised release and probation for the offense which required registration. The registrant must also meet the following criteria: a. No prior offense which would be a sex offense under Georgia law or similar state or federal law; b. No use of a weapon during the offense; c. No relevant similar transaction; d. Victim did not suffer any intentional physical harm; e. The victim was not transported during the offense; and  f. The victim was not physically restrained during the commission of the offense.

Other Risk Classifications

If the person is classified by the Sex Offender Registration Review Board as a level II risk assessment classification or as a sexual predator, the person is not eligible to file a petition until ten years after the person has completed all  prison, parole, supervised release and probation for the offense which required registration.

Unclassified Registrants

If the person is classified by the Sex Offender Registration Review Board, a petition may be filed, but the court will stay the proceeding and direct the Board to make a classification in the person’s case.  The resulting classification would determine eligibility for relief.

Disabled Persons

Disabled or incapacitated persons may be eligible to be removed from the registry under the following circumstances.  The registrant must have completed all prison, parole, supervised release and probation for the offense which required registration and: (a) is confined to a hospice facility, skilled nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly or             nursing home;  (b) is totally and permanently disabled; or  (c) is otherwise seriously physically incapacitated due to illness or injury.

Level of Offense Change

If the registrant was convicted of an offense which was a felony on or before June 30, 2006, but is now a misdemeanor, the registrant can petition for removal from the registry.  This most typically involves offenders who were close in age to their victims. One example is that some registrants were convicted of sodomy prior to July 1, 2006, where the victim was at least 13 years old but less than 16 years old and the registrant was 18 years old or younger at the time of the offense.  These persons would now be eligible to seek removal from the registry.Another example is that some registrants who were convicted of statutory rape prior to July 1, 2006, where the victim was at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old and the registrant was 18 years old or younger at the time of the offense, and no more than four years older than the victim at that time.  These persons could now petition for removal from the registry.

Non-Sexual Kidnapping or False Imprisonment of a Minor

If the registrant was subject to registration because of a kidnaping or false imprisonment charge where there was no sexual offense against a minor, the registrant may be eligible to petition for relief from the registry requirements.

Procedure for Petition for Removal

If a registrant was convicted in Georgia, then the petition would be filed in Superior Court in the county where the conviction occurred.  If the conviction was from another state, the petition can be filed in the county of residence of the registrant. The court can order the person removed from the registry and can release the person from some or all of the employment or residence restrictions that may apply to the registrant.If a person petitions for relief and the petition is denied, a new petition cannot be filed for two years from the order of denial.The court can grant the petition if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person does not pose a substantial risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense. In preparing such a petition and readying the case for presentation at a hearing, it will be important to document the facts of the underlying offense, including getting copies of warrants, incident reports, accusations, indictments, and sentencing documents.  It is also necessary to document all treatment programs completed by the registrant either in jail or prison or while on parole or probation or otherwise.  Any psychological or psychosexual evaluations will need to be obtained.  If there are none, depending on the facts of the case, such an evaluation may be recommended.  The registrant’s record while on parole or probation is important to demonstrate a lack of serious violations.  Finally, the facts and dispositions of any new offenses or violations must be examined.

Modification of Probation Conditions

Registrants who are still actively serving their probation sentences continue to be able to seek modifications of the conditions of probation.  Good cause must be shown to the court for such modifications.  In the past, my office has sought modifications to allow probation under sex offender conditions to have pictures of their children and grandchildren and to have contact with such relatives.  Obviously, the court must be convinced that such changes will not cause a risk of harm to others or a risk of allowing for a new offense to occur.

Our Office

Attorney Sean A. Black has been in practice since 1992.  During that time, he has handled numerous criminal and civil matters.  He has handled many cases involving the sex offender laws at the trial court level and on appeal as well as habeas corpus cases.   To seek help with a case, call us at 866-234-4481 or email me at seanblack@blacklawoffices.com.  Black Law Offices, LLC, is located at 141 West Savannah Street, Suite B, Toccoa, Georgia..

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.

Comments

Veronica Reply

Posted Dec 17, 2013 at 13:43:45

Sean, thank you for a concise and clear explanation on Georgia’s Sex Registration laws. I am an attorney who has been researching this issue and your web page has the best explanation by far of all the other practioners websites I have perused. Kudos. Based on your writing here, I imagine that you are a fine advocate whose clients are fortunate to have you on their side. I have two questions for you: (1) do you know what risk level Distribution of Child Pornography falls under in Georgia? If so, what is it or what is the actuarial system they use to determine risk level? (2) if someone convicted of Distribution of Child Pornography after June 30, 2008 is taken off the registry, do the 1,000 feet restrictions on residence and employment still apply?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Dec 27, 2013 at 06:17:23

The information I have been given about the classification system indicates that it is more related to an offender based evaluation than an offense based evaluation although the severity of the offense can have an effect, particularly if it is a violent or stranger-type crime.

To obtain removal from the registry, a person must have completed the relevant sentence including parole or probation. At that point, persons on the registry may be subject to certain employment and residence restrictions based upon their conviction date. Removal from the registry removes these restrictions. However, if the person is serving probation or parole for a different offense, it may be that some of these restrictions may be imposed as conditions for the new probation or parole. I have seen the parole board, in particular, impose such conditions for an unrelated offense where the criminal history includes a registry offense.

Lynn Reply

Posted Oct 29, 2014 at 10:45:31

When a person as completed his / her 10 year probation are they able to travel outof the state without special premission for a week vacation with his / her spouse.

Walter West Reply

Posted Jun 25, 2015 at 12:04:09

Mr. Black. My offense occurred in 1988 and I was adjudicated in 1994, in a high-profile case. I was sentenced to 20 years to serve and served the entire sentence. I then discovered I had 20 years on probation to serve. I interstate compacted to Florida, as both my parents died while I was incarcerated and our house in McDonough was foreclosed upon. Is there any way to have my probation reduced or negated. (DOC had no listing of probation for me and neither did probation at the time of release). I have been on probation for a couple of years, am disabled (on disability) and have limited mobility. I understand that the SO review board put me under predator status in my absence. Any suggestions? Advice? My case ended up in Clayton County.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jun 30, 2015 at 05:08:21

Like most questions addressed to lawyers, this is one where the answer comes down to the documents. What does the sentence state? Beyond that, your classification level will make a court reluctant to release you from supervision.

Jason Reply

Posted Jul 14, 2015 at 07:15:43

3rd degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Is that a slam dunk for level 1 classification with no other sex offenders. 6 months each count and all time donebin jail with no parole or probation. Reason I ask is sex offender deputy scared me out of getting classified cause said someone had 12 counts and got predator status.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jul 14, 2015 at 08:02:07

The classification system can be intimidating. Parole or probation violations, prison or jail infractions, disregard of counseling/treatment requirements, or other misconduct is required to escalate the classification level. Most sex offenders who are charged and convicted are at very low risk to re-offend. The SORRB looks for other risk factors which would increase that risk. If you don’t have the other risk factors, I would expect you to be classified as Level 1. But, without knowing all of the details of your case and your progress since conviction, it is only a guess.

Denise Reply

Posted Aug 06, 2015 at 16:54:21

On another note, a registered sex offender with 2 prison stints of a violent, sexual nature has moved in across the street from our neighborhood elementary school. There’s nothing we can do since the crimes were comitted prior to 2003 (though he was in prison for 20 years at that time). Do you have any advice for parents like me?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Aug 07, 2015 at 07:11:36

There is nothing that will likely reassure you about this situation.

Convicted sex offenders are statistically less likely to commit a new sexual offense. Without knowing the facts of his conviction offenses, it is difficult to say whether there is a substantial risk to children. On the other hand, forewarned is forearmed. You know that this person may be a risk or danger, that is true whether he lives across the street, down the block, or across town. That is not true of many other people you and your children may come in contact with. When sexual crimes against children occur, it can come as a complete surprise by people you never suspected.

Your best bet is to have upfront conversations with your children about safety, dealings with other people and being honest with parents about things that happen in their lives.

The registry and residence restrictions can just give people a chance to sweep things under the rug and pretend that bad things don’t happen.

qtjBama Reply

Posted Oct 15, 2015 at 10:59:23

Someone very close to me, a Level I SO in GA, has just been given a summons by his PO to appear before his sentencing judge – i.e., “Hearing for Good Cause,” with a two week notice. His documentation – psychosexual evaluation, PPG, polygraphs (never failed) – are all pristine and he would be given very good feedback or neutral reviews from his POs. He has a stack of recommendation letters from people in the community. He served 2, and is now 3 years into 12 years probation. Orig Offense in 2007. He is a performer and comes to work in my state (AL), for which he has always needed a travel permit. (he never stays more than 3 days).

TWO GROUPS OF QUESTIONS:
Firstly, if he goes on non-report – the purpose of this hearing, which his PO instigated – would he still need a travel permit? If he does not need one in GA, would he still need one in AL?
Secondly, could he file for removal from the SO Registry at the same hearing?

He fits all of these criteria (from above): The registrant must also meet the following criteria: a. No prior offense which would be a sex offense under Georgia law or similar state or federal law; b. No use of a weapon during the offense; c. No relevant similar transaction; d. Victim did not suffer any intentional physical harm; e. The victim was not transported during the offense; and f. The victim was not physically restrained during the commission of the offense.

qtjBama Reply

Posted Oct 15, 2015 at 11:12:01

BTW, the original offense was “Luring a minor”… case of entrapment (per court transcript, he was in an Adult chat room, and the “woman” he was talking to suddenly announced she was 14 – no meeting, no etc. The entrapping officer refused to show photo used to lure “we have many; I don’t know which one he looked at”). The DA was sure he would get probation. My friend was eager and prepared to defend himself; his inexperienced attorney and even the DA were sure he’d get just probation…but after the DA rested, at noon, before defending himself, during the lunch break behind the scenes sitting with DA and his own attorney, Judge gave him “take your chances, and if you are given a guilty verdict, I’ll put you in prison for 60 years. Or plead guilty and take 2.” He has no priors aside from traffic violations. 28 yo at the time. He was given 45 minutes to make a decision. He took 2 years, of course, rather than “life.” All pychosocial evidence shows he is attracted to adult women. Clear record.) The attorney he consulted with (he’s interviewing now), looking at his documentation, says his case is extremely unusual. I’m told that there really aren’t any enforceable entrapment laws in GA.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Oct 15, 2015 at 11:31:48

Being made non-reporting does not terminate the sentence. Until the sentence is complete, either through running its course or early termination, he does not have standing to request removal from the registry. Likewise, until the sentence is complete, he will continue to need a travel permit to leave the state of Georgia. He will also have to continue to notify probation if his address changes and update registry information as required by law.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Oct 15, 2015 at 11:33:38

I really can’t assess his prior conviction without seeing the court record and transcripts. You do not give any information as to when his conviction occurred to evaluate whether a challenge to the conviction would be timely.

Carolyn Gill Reply

Posted Dec 03, 2015 at 20:08:32

Mr. Black I searching for knowledge on the 1000 ft. laws for a registered offender. See my fiancé served 10 years in prison for I sex crime against me when I was 20 years old. He was released July 14, 2014, we reunited in Jan, 2015 and talked about what happened in the past and started a new relationship with each other. The small town we live in recently started giving us issues about where we live. When I google the distance from our home to the park which is directly across the street from the middle school it shows we live more than 1000 ft. away but when we spoke with the lady at the sheriff’s office she stated that we are too close because the owner of the park also owns the property across the street from us how does that work. I honestly think she is being untruthful but I have no way to prove it yet. Do u have any advice for us because I have to young kids my only income is child support and I cant afford to move. I’m lost and not sure what to do or where to go from here. I feel there being very unfair to him because it’s not like he’s a child offend nor has he ever been in any trouble before this was his first offense and he served his time.

Kim Robinson Reply

Posted Jan 24, 2016 at 09:24:49

My son is up for parole for child molestation supposedly committed on September 16, 2005. He has been in 10 and a half years. There was no dna evidence and the victim did not testify but he was convicted and got 13 in and seven probation. But I’m confused after reading who must register. Child molestation is not listed within the occurrence dates. Can you clarify this for me?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 25, 2016 at 05:08:08

There are two classes of offenses which trigger registration: “criminal offense against a victim who is a minor” and “dangerous sexual offense.” Over time, the definition of each has changed. Because these classifications are not applied retroactively, this causes each of these terms to have different definitions depending upon the date of the conviction.

Your comment does not specify the date of conviction. Since the offense date is September 16, 2005, I assume that the conviction date is after that within a couple of years.

A child molestation offense where the conviction occurred after June 30, 2001, would be considered to be a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor because it would be “criminal sexual conduct toward a minor.” OCGA 42-1-12 (a)(9)(B)(iii). It could also be regarded as “any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor.” OCGA 42-1-12(a)(9)(B)(xi).

If the conviction occurred prior to July 1, 2006, it would not be regarded as a dangerous sexual offense, unless you omitted a description that it was “aggravated child molestation.” If the conviction was on or after July 1, 2006, it would be regarded as a dangerous sexual offense. OCGA 42-1-12(a)(10)(B)(viii).

Meeting either definition triggers registration for most people residing in or moving into Georgia.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 25, 2016 at 05:13:02

Where distances are being measured for sex offender registrants subject to residence or work restrictions, the distances are measured between the two closest boundary points of the two properties. It is not measured door-to-door or entrance-to-entrance.

There is not a lot of direction in the statute or case law for the situation you describe where the owner of a property that would trigger restrictions also owns property abutting the restricted property where the abutting property is not dedicated to a restricted usage.

Paul Baccus Reply

Posted Jan 31, 2016 at 16:14:05

I was convicted on 3-31-1997 of sexual assault of a child while in a position of trust. A felony by Colorado law.Currently I live in South Carolina and am considering moving to Georgia. How would I be classified under Georgia law? Are there any restrictions as to where I could live or work? Would I be able to petition the court to be removed from the registry list and how long after residency if possible? Thank you

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Feb 02, 2016 at 08:56:37

If a person moving into the state of Georgia is required to register in the originating state, then they are required to register in Georgia. Georgia will not conduct any initial classification upon registration. A person who is on the registry can petition for removal from the registry. If unclassified, as you would be at that stage, the court would order a classification. If the person is classified as a Level I, low risk, then the petition can proceed immediately, with no further waiting period. If the person is a Level II, moderate risk, then the petition can only proceed if it has been more than ten years from the completion of the sentence.

g.wilson Reply

Posted Feb 13, 2016 at 19:21:23

I’m on probation for false imprisonment which occurred in 2013 the incident occurred with my 12 year old brother and I was 17 at the time. When I took my plea for 10 years probation they never told me anything about having to register,nor was anything about registering for sex offender on therecord. Last week when I reported to probation they told me I had to register which I did. I need this off of me what can I do? Please help me I’m not didn’t commit a sex crime I need to come off.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Feb 15, 2016 at 06:18:25

It is certainly something that your lawyer, at least, should have discussed with you.

False imprisonment of a minor where the offender is not a parent is specifically set out as a “criminal offense against a victim who is a minor.” OCGA 42-1-12(a)(9)(B).

Any offense which is a “criminal offense against a victim who is a minor” requires registration as a sex offender, even where there is no sexual component to the crime charged or the underlying facts.

Registration requirements are collateral consequences of a conviction. The judge is not required to cover all collateral consequences of a conviction on the record. I really think that your lawyer should have informed you of that type of collateral consequence.

There are two ways to get you off the sex offender registry: (1) complete your sentence and successfully petition for removal (but be on the registry for ten years) or (2) successfully challenge the entry of your plea and have the sentence set aside. However, that places you in a position where the prosecution against you re-starts.

shawana Reply

Posted Apr 06, 2016 at 13:14:29

Good afternoon Mr. Black My husband was convicted in 1999 for statutory rape. At the time the victim and her family tried to drop the charger because she you lady admitted that it was consensual and she lied about he age but the state decided to keep the case and charge him anyway. The young lady was 12 and my husband was 16. We have been living in texas for a while and want to know what steps can be taken to have him deregistered of removed for the list?

Edward Davis Reply

Posted Apr 19, 2016 at 19:32:28

Sean black…i was convicted by jury on june 6,1987 for child molestation..no harm..no restraints..i allegedly exposed myself..when she went back and said i didn’t..i completed my sentence may 1997..no other charges like this…can i get off registry?never been leveled

marie howard Reply

Posted Apr 20, 2016 at 15:15:37

I have a question. If a person has 20 years for statutory rape (consensual) and serves 5 years prison and get released to serve the remaining time on papers can that person be eligible for early release of probation? This person is classified as level 1. No other convictions and no violations. Has completed all classes. Is it possible to ask for a sentence reduction or early removal?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 25, 2016 at 06:56:36

The probation portion of a sentence is subject to modification throughout the sentence by the sentencing court. Modification can be of the conditions to be supervised and of the length of the sentence. Sex offenses can experience significant resistance from the courts in termination requests unless it is very clear that the person poses no threat of re-offending.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 25, 2016 at 07:02:46

Anyone on the registry who has completed the sentence and is not classified as a sexual predator may be eligible for removal from the Georgia registry. Unclassified persons need to file a petition for removal in order to be classified. Level I’s can proceed immediately with the petition for removal. Level II’s can only proceed if at least ten years has elapsed since the completion of the sentence (including probation).

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 25, 2016 at 07:04:16

If your husband is a resident of Texas, he is not on the Georgia registry. He would need to pursue removal from the Texas registry if that is available.

Margie Reply

Posted May 13, 2016 at 16:22:37

I have tried to find an answer and have been unable to. I really hope you can help me. My mother is having some health problems and is moving in with me, my husband, and my 4 child (all under 18). She wants her live in boyfriend to move in as well. He is a Level 2 sex offender and I can’t find if he by law could move in. I am worried! Please help. Thanks so much

Margie Reply

Posted May 13, 2016 at 16:25:29

Can a level 2 sex offender live with minors? I have looked this up many times and can find no answer. Please help. Thanks a million.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted May 16, 2016 at 08:59:24

First of all, it’s your home. You get to decide who moves into your house. You are not required to allow your mother’s boyfriend or even her husband to live in the house with you or your mother.

Current Georgia restrictions on sex offender registrants do not prevent registrants from living in a home with children. If the person is still on parole or probation, conditions associated with that status often do include restrictions against living in a home with children. If the person has completed their sentence and is subject to residency restrictions, those restrictions will be limitations on homes within a specified distance of places where children are likely to congregate, like schools, parks, playgrounds, daycare centers, etc.

Holley Reply

Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:41:15

The community, hotel, motel pool usage law wording is confusing. For travel/vacation purposes: Is this for loitering or, if a SO is staying at a hotel/motel can they use the pool? Is there a date of offense associated with this law? The offender is Level 1.

Thank you.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted May 23, 2016 at 13:00:57

It is fair to describe the language about community pool as vague and indefinite. There is not actually a specific provision regarding hotel or motel pools. Instead, the language is “public or community swimming pool.” At the same time, there is other language regarding areas where minor congregate. That last term is similarly vague.

These restrictions are very specific as to what persons the restrictions apply to based on date of offense.

The restrictions can apply based on three types of conduct: residing, being employed or volunteering, or loitering.

A hotel/motel swimming pool could be seen as an area where minors congregate. Assuming we are talking about a short-term stay, it is hard to imagine that a hotel guest using a hotel amenity would be seen as loitering. However, the way that you are likely to face the issue is because law enforcement charges you with a criminal offense based on the conduct. You are then defending yourself against a criminal charge and may face issues regarding being allowed bond.

The dates of offense as set out in the summary of the law that you read is very important.

Rose Reply

Posted May 24, 2016 at 00:22:34

If someone is on first offenders and they do time served but is a level 2 is that person clear of having to register and is that person allowed around children?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted May 24, 2016 at 03:30:03

I’ll have to try to break your question apart.

If the person is actively serving a Georgia first offender probation sentence, then they have to register as a sex offender, may be subject to employment, residence and loitering restrictions. In addition, they are subject to their probation conditions, which usually include conditions against having purposeful contact with minors and requirements to report inadvertent contact with minors.

If the person had a first offender sentence, successfully completed probation, and received a discharge from the court, then they do not have to register as a sex offender and are subject to no conditions.

Because this is a very high stakes issue, the best bet is for the person to consult with a lawyer about their specific situation and provide documentation of the court actions.

Jessica Reply

Posted Jun 08, 2016 at 08:50:22

Thank you for posting this kind of stuff because it is really important to me. I have a guy that I am really in love with, but I break up with him because his child like ways, he does jealous game with me because he is jealous of me, he likes to me upset and he is a sex offender too. He told me his story, I told lawyers, law enforcement, Department Of Corrections and they took my emails seriously. He lost his mom when he was thirteen years old, so he lived in foster care. His parents lost him at a young age because the law enforcement caught his parents at a bar with him when he was a baby. When he was eighteen years old he got kicked out of foster care. He met his victim when she was fourteen years old. He kissed her and spanked her once and they were dating at the time. They really liked each other, but he told me she was really mean to him and he wrestled her down because she was mean to him and he couldn’t take it. He lived with her, but she admitted he was down stairs most of the time and he had a job too. The mom took his car to steal money from Sonic, the nephew dressed up like him and stole money too and they tried to get him in trouble, but the nephew ended up saying it was him. In 2009, the victim accused him of raping her, they took the rape test, the DNA test said he never raped her, the Polygraph said he never raped her and she is telling people he is rapist, but that is not true because the Sheriff’s papers said that they never had sex with her and I saw it too. So he is going to court in September to see if he is able to get off the sex offender registration. I have been fighting with him for a long time. The victim called me a twelve year old that needs to go back to Elementary School, she said that I am an idiot, he is a liar, he is crazy, I really do want him to get off there. Please pray for us. She is not a very friendly person. She was telling the judge lies and she admitted that the Parole Officer was sending letters to her and they were sending letters to her about me. They told her what I was saying about her to the lawyers, law enforcement, this man works for the Department Of Corrections and that is not right. Have a great day. I have dealt with this for two years to try to get this off his record. God bless you. I hope you make a difference in people’s lives.

Jerry P Reply

Posted Jun 09, 2016 at 12:51:56

Hi, I was convicted of enticing a minor for indecent purposes in 2008 (1 count where I made a comment online with no physical contact or pictures of any kind). I plead guilty and got 3 year to serve 1 sentence. My sentence ended in 2011. I just tried to get classified to see what level I am so I can try to get off the registry. 3 questions, 1. are sex offenders allowed to live with their own children without supervision! 2. what do you think my odds are of getting a level one classification? 3. What do you think my odds of getting off the registry are? I have no other charges of any offense of any kind ever.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jun 10, 2016 at 05:59:02

I am interested to see if they SORRB will classify you without a court order. Please let me know about that.

You are not under a probation sentence, which is generally where the restrictions about residing with a child come into play. So, if you are off of probation, I don’t believe you have that restriction.

The restrictions that do apply are as to your residence location and your employment locations as well as where you might loiter.

With a low level offense as you describe, if you had no violations of probation and you do not have any severe mental health or substance abuse issues, I would think your chances of a Level I are pretty good.

Kcor Reply

Posted Sep 12, 2016 at 22:16:06

I am getting conflicted information about first offender status for Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation in GA. Do you know if that charge can be sentenced under first offender?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Sep 13, 2016 at 04:01:52

OCGA 42-8-60 sets out the availability of first offender and how it is to be implemented.

For your question, we look to section (j) which sets out offenses for which first offender cannot be ordered:

The court shall not sentence a defendant under the provisions of this article who has been found guilty of or entered a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere for: (1)  A serious violent felony as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1; (2)  A sexual offense as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.2; (3)  Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-46; (4)  Neglecting disabled adults, elder persons, or residents as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-101; (5)  Exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-102; (6)  Sexual exploitation of a minor as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100; (7)  Electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100.1; (8)  Computer pornography and child exploitation as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100.2; (9)  (A) Any of the following offenses when such offense is committed against a law enforcement officer while such officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties: (i)  Aggravated assault in violation of Code Section 16-5-21; (ii)  Aggravated battery in violation of Code Section 16-5-24; or (iii)  Obstruction of a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-10-24, if such violation results in serious physical harm or injury to such officer.(B)  As used in this paragraph, the term “law enforcement officer” means:(i)  A peace officer as such term is defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 35-8-2; (ii)  A law enforcement officer of the United States government; (iii)  An individual employed as a campus police officer or school security officer;(iv)  A conservation ranger; and (v)  A jail officer employed at a county or municipal jail; or(10)  Driving under the influence as prohibited by Code Section 40-6-391.O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60.

Attempted child molestation is not specifically set out, but the question would be whether it is included as a sexual offense in OCGA 17-10-6.2—that is from subsection (2) of section (j).

That code section states that:

term “sexual offense” means: (1)  Aggravated assault with the intent to rape, as defined in Code Section 16-5-21; (2)  False imprisonment, as defined in Code Section 16-5-41, if the victim is not the child of the defendant and the victim is less than 14 years of age; (3)  Sodomy, as defined in Code Section 16-6-2, unless subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-6-2; (4)  Statutory rape, as defined in Code Section 16-6-3, if the person convicted of the crime is 21 years of age or older; (5)  Child molestation, as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-6-4, unless subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-6-4; (6)  Enticing a child for indecent purposes, as defined in Code Section 16-6-5, unless subject to the provisions of subsection © of Code Section 16-6-5; (7)  Sexual assault against persons in custody, as defined in Code Section 16-6-5.1; (8)  Incest, as defined in Code Section 16-6-22; (9)  A second or subsequent conviction for sexual battery, as defined in Code Section 16-6-22.1; or (10)  Sexual exploitation of children, as defined in Code Section 16-12-100.O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.2.

Again, criminal attempt under OCGA 16-4-1 is not enumerated. Child molestation is included and is not generally eligible for first offender. So, my answer is that criminal attempt to commit child molestation may be considered by the judge for first offender act treatment.


It would be within the discretion of the judge as to whether or not to allow you first offender act treatment.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Sep 27, 2016 at 07:36:01

I am sorry to hear about the difficulties. The sentencing provisions are set out in OCGA 42-1-12(n). It states that violations shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 30 years; provided, however, that upon the conviction of the second offense under this subsection, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 30 years.

There is no built-in escalation for a third offense, and it’s not a second offense, so I would say the sentencing range is 1 to 30 years. However, the judge can and will consider his prior record in determining a sentence if he is convicted of the offense.

The question on this case would be whether there is credible evidence that he had, in fact, moved without giving notice. It seems like the case is based only on the statement of his father.

If he cannot afford an attorney, the court should provide him with representation.

SS Reply

Posted Oct 30, 2016 at 10:10:19

I am on probation in Mississippi for statutory rape, but the company my husband works for is closing the doors so we are considering moving to GA. Will I be under MS’s probation rules? I read where GA doesn’t allow an SO on probation to live with their own children and this isn’t something we could consider. I want to be sure what the rules are governing this before we move. Also, would I be able to obtain a travel pass from my po to travel back to MS to visit family?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Oct 30, 2016 at 14:40:58

When you transfer probation from one state to another, the receiving state can reject or approve your request to move and can notify the originating state of the terms of probation that will be enforced. My understanding is that Georgia is quite strict on probation conditions for sex offenses where they are transferred in. So, it is possible that you would run into the problem that you are describing. If you move here, Georgia will supervise you, and the Georgia PO will determine travel permit requests.

Adam Reply

Posted Nov 01, 2016 at 09:26:10

I was convicted of enticement of a child for indecent purposes in march, 2006. The offense was committed the previous summer while I was 18. I have fully completed that sentence and because of my age, was never required to register. However, I was convicted of an unrelated, non sexual offense in 2010 and have spent the last 6 years in prison. Now, the parole board has seen fit to make sex offense registry a condition of my parole, even though that was never part of my original court documents nor judge order. They have also stated that my home address is not parole eligible as my 16 year old sister lives there with my parents. Is there anything I can do to fight this? Any legislation that you could point me to? By the way, the reason I can post this comment is because I am currently in a transitional center and it is legal now for us to have cell phones.

Jane Reply

Posted Nov 27, 2016 at 01:56:37

Mr Black my son will soon be released from prison after serving his max time due to not having an approved residence. He is a level 1 offender and due to our home being located close to an amusement park he can’t stay here. I understand the laws for this but the park is only in operation April through October. I’ve talked with the local parole/ probation office and only get very rude comments pertaining to our home address. My husband and I are his only family and we can not pay for another place for him til he has a job and we are having a hard time due to finances . Is there anyway you would be able to tell us what the law is about the amusement park during their closed season? We have checked into halfway houses but very few take SO and the ones that do have years long waiting list . We live on the Ga.Tn. State line so we can only look locally or south. We both have jobs in Tn so couldn’t move far if we found something affordable. We currently are buying our home but the value is lower than what we owe and needs repairs before selling. We agreed to just walk away from our home and giving it to the bank and find something but everything is a couple hundred more than our house note and we are just making it as it is. We are willing to move if only had jobs. We are out of options and don’t know what to do so any advice would be accepted. Will he even be released after serving his entire sentence without an approved address or will he have to stay where he is incarcerated ? This mess all started in 11/2005 and he was 19 and she told him she was 18 but was only 14 yrs old. He admitted to kissing and touching her . All the test came back normal and clear but the judge in Catoosa County said it is all considered intercourse due to her age. i totally agree with laws regarding rape in a violent situation but she lied about her age and no intercourse which was agreed by judge and his atty and the DA. Saying all this what do we do now? He is about to lose his mind and having major ptsd . Please any advice is welcome

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Nov 29, 2016 at 08:21:07

I am sorry that your son is having such difficulty. Level 1 is a low risk offender, but parole is very hard on compliance about residence location requirements.

I really can’t advise you about your legal and financial situation regarding your house and mortgage.

You might search for shelters that will accept sex offenders. If he cannot line up housing for release, he will likely be treated as homeless and will have to find somewhere to stay that complies with the Georgia law on that topic. He will have to check in regularly with the sheriff’s office for the county where he is staying.

There are shelters and transitional housing options that do accept sex offenders but I am not familiar with what the availability is in northwest Georgia.

I don’t have a way to evaluate his conviction based on the limited information provided.

Kurt Reply

Posted Dec 20, 2016 at 01:23:28

Thank you so much for the information and help you provide. In illinois in 1994 I committed unlawful restraint against a child. No sexual contact, no injury, no weapon. While out on bail pretrial I was arrested on federal charges for child pornography in 1996 and extradited to California with the other 15 defendants. Plea agreement in 1997, I received 30 months, most of which I served. Upon release I was remanded to Cook county where I pled out to the unlawful restraint and received time served and 3 years probation. I also had 3 years supervised release with the feds. I was free in 1998. My compliance was exemplary throughout probation/supervision, I was required to register in Illinois for 10 years, ending in 2008.
I want to move to Georgia. Am I required to register? If so, can I petition before moving so as to avoid registering?
And if I go to Georgia for two weeks to visit family, am I required to register then?
Again, thank you.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Dec 22, 2016 at 06:22:29

If you move to Georgia as your permanent residence, the relevant Code section will be OCGA 42-1-12(e)(6). It provides:

Is a nonresident who changes residence from another state or territory of the United States or any other place to Georgia who is required to register as a sexual offender under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory or who has been convicted in this state of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense.

You would not be required to register under the first clause of that subsection because, by your report, you are not currently required to register in your home state.

You would not be required to register under the second clause of that subsection because neither conviction was in Georgia. So it is not necessary to determine if either offense would fall under the two listed categories.

If you just come to Georgia for a visit, OCGA 42-1-12(e)(7) is the controlling subsection. It provides:

Is a nonresident sexual offender who enters this state for the purpose of employment or any other reason for a period exceeding 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year regardless of whether such sexual offender is required to register under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory.

For the minute, I will assume that you would qualify as a sexual offender under Georgia law. As such, if you stay in Georgia for more than fourteen days in one stay or more than 30 aggregate within a calendar year, you would have to register.

Whether you would be classified as a sexual offender is determined by whether the offenses would constitute a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or a dangerous sexual offense. The first reported offense sounds as if it could qualify as a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor. The pornography charge does fall within the definition of dangerous sexual offense.

Kurt Reply

Posted Dec 23, 2016 at 04:21:10

Thank you very much for your prompt response. So it seems that I can move permanently to Georgia without having to register, but if I VISIT for more than two weeks at one time or more than 30 days in a calendar year, I WOULD be required to register.

My final question then would be, is it possible to petition for release from the requirement to register as a visitor before reaching that point of actually having to register? Or is it ONLY possible to petition once one is actually registered?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Dec 27, 2016 at 03:40:11

One can only petition for release from registration once one is registered. The removal process takes at least several months.

Sholanda Reply

Posted Jan 08, 2017 at 12:54:23

How long does a registered sex offender have to report that they are moving?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 08, 2017 at 13:37:16

Any change of registration information must be reported within 72 hours of the information changing.

Jonathon Merritt Reply

Posted Jan 09, 2017 at 09:05:07

Attorney Black.
If a person that I know who is classified as a sexually violent predator moves to Georgia from South Carolina,, how often must he register? his offense was in 1995.
He rented a room from me for 7 years and I know him extremely well. If he moved to Georgia according to my information he could request an evaluation and get his threat level reduced. I am correct?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 09, 2017 at 10:21:21

If the individual was required to register in SC and moved to Georgia, he would have been required to register within 72 hours of moving to Georgia, and to update once per year, but giving notice within 72 hours if any registration information changes. If he is classified by Georgia as a sexual predator, there would be additional requirements. The SORRB can review him and his cases and determine whether the classification is still accurate.

KayeCee Reply

Posted Jan 11, 2017 at 08:26:20

A friend of mine where label Lvl 1 risk sex offender Oregon State, he was sente ne 5yrs of Probation after 1year he was transfer to a low low risk case so was out to probation reporting 1’s every six months a year had past and his own PO emailed us to let us know that he no longer have to report to him as he already filed an early discharge to his case so he is no longer on probation Oct 2016. While in that one of his PO have informed us bfore that he dont have the sex offender package on his case so even on probation he does not have a strick restrictions like cannot be in where minors congregate, no school etc near residents. We came to Georgia and had to register and out of nowhere the officer immediately informed us that he cannot live restrictions, work restrictions, even without probation. And she didnt even find his name on sex offender website in Oregon so she doesnt really know the case. So it is shocking that we are givin more restrictions now that he is not in Probation than before when he was on probation. And she was saying that there is no way he will find a job and a place to live here because of all restrictions she told him and that she already informed all police etc that he is in town. At first she said they GA copy whatever other state on but i feel like moving to GA is more restrictions and worse than having a PO. So can you tell me more of what is up? Does GA just label everyone same way since they have to register and restrict everyone same way not going thru the individual casea at all?

Curtis Reply

Posted Jan 16, 2017 at 13:37:50

If i am convicted of criminal attempt to commit child molestation can i be forced to register as a sex offender and what are the odds of my classifiacation being lvl 1 i have never had any other issues with the law and am facing a 10 year sentance if i plead guilty which seems like the max for attempt to commit a felony

Curtis Reply

Posted Jan 18, 2017 at 06:40:49

Can criminal attemtpt to commit a felony child molestation be sentanced under 1st offender law amd the da said i would receive 10 years if i plead guilty isnt that the max punishment for this crime ? Also will i have to register as a sex offender no sex crime was actually committed

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 23, 2017 at 08:22:21

It is an interesting question, because it means taking the offense code out of the Chapter that deals with sexual offenses and moves it to a general offense. Child molestation is set out at OCGA 16-6-4. Attempt is set out at OCGA 16-1-4.

The problem for you is that while OCGA 16-1-4 is not listed as an offense for either crime for which the victim is a minor or dangerous sexual offense, they both include language which would likely include attempted child molestation. The simplest one is dangerous sexual offense which sets out: Any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor or an attempt to commit a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor. O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12(a)(10(B)(xix). The victim who is a minor definition includes " Any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor."

So, if you are convicted of the attempt or plead to that offense, it will subject you to registration requirements. There are some offenses which will not trigger registration. You are correct that the maximum sentence for attempted child molestation would be ten years, because attempt carries up to one-half of the sentence for the underlying offense, and the maximum sentence for first offense child molestation is twenty years.

You really need to have counsel before entering a plea to an offense of this magnitude.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 23, 2017 at 08:23:28

It could be a level 1, it will depend on the evaluation of your case and your compliance with your sentence and any required treatment and therapy.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 23, 2017 at 08:27:12

If he was not required to register in Oregon, how did it come about that he was required to register in Georgia?

chris Reply

Posted Jan 28, 2017 at 19:49:33

I left my 10 year old daughter while i went out of state with my boyfriend..i bought groceries fpr them her school clothes christmas presents anf gave her a birthday party…dfacs found out that my boy friend is a registered sex offender..low risk. He is off parole April 1…..can they keep her from me if we live together.they put a safety plan in place.pop

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Jan 30, 2017 at 04:25:04

You agreed to a safety plan. That is voluntary, not a court order. The only thing that keeps you from withdrawing your agreement is the threat that it will go to court and that, in the meantime, your daughter will be in a situation that you do not want them to be. So, the question is, how solid is that threat?

That is a very complicated and difficult thing to analyze by text communication. You need to sit down with a lawyer accustomed to going up against DFCS in custody cases and review all of the real facts about your case. You never state what county you live in.

The other issue is whether his parole officer knew he was living in a home with a child. Community Supervision often imposes tougher restrictions on its supervisees regarding contact with minors when they have a sex offense in their background.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 13:24:10

My first advice is to consult with a lawyer in your home state to make sure that you cannot get a removal there first.

I am assuming that you have completed your sentence on the original charge.

If you have exhausted that alternative, then, yes, it is possible that you can seek removal in Georgia. There is no way to assure you that it will be successful, and you face the difficulty of establishing yourself here. Then, you can petition for removal. That triggers classification. If you come up level 1, then you can proceed. If you are level 2, it depends upon whether ten years has passed since the completion of your original sentence.

The failure to register charge can have an effect on your classification.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Feb 14, 2017 at 05:14:28

An adult probationer must request permission to move states. Such requests are evaluated at the local and state levels before being passed to the receiving state for consideration and approval. Such approval is subject to set rules about when a state can refuse and when they cannot. More specific information is available on the ICAOS website: http://www.interstatecompact.org.

Si Mod Reply

Posted Mar 02, 2017 at 16:37:10

Is possession of child porn a registerable offence?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 02, 2017 at 16:40:09

Yes. It is listed as a dangerous sexual offense.

Amanda Harrah Reply

Posted Mar 13, 2017 at 20:09:46

Hey Mr. Black,
My boyfriend is convicted of aggravated child molestation. This conviction was in 1993 and he is currently serving out his probation sentence with 8 yrs left. My boyfriend was living with family members temporarily and we he got ready to move out, their daughter [his cousin] begged him not to leave. He moved out and it made his cousin angry. At this time, he was 13 yrs old and she was 11. it was about 4 years later and the county arrested him for child molestation. The girl was at school and something happened to where school officials were questioning her and at that time is when she accused my boyfriend of the sexual acts against her. There was no evidence against him and no investigation took place. In the court transcripts, it even states that she was under psychological evaluation. My boyfriend did not have any family support, he mom was working out of state but she was a bad alcoholic and wouldn’t have been any help to him. His father coaxed him in to signing a plea of guilty. He informed my boyfriend that if he didn’t take the plea, they would put the girl on the stand to testify and all it would take is her showing tears and he would spend the rest of his life in prison. My boyfriend was only seventeen at the time and took what his father said to heart and did what he told him to do, so he signed the plea bargain. Come to find out, his father was receiving financial help from his brother, the father of the girl, and he didn’t want to lose that money coming in, therefore, got his son to sign the plea because the family of the girl didn’t want her to get on the stand to be questioned and testify. The girl was represented by DFACs’ attorney and her parents had their family attorney. My boyfriend couldn’t afford an attorney, therefore, represented by the public defender, whom received his case information the night before court. My first question is what are the laws regarding being charged as an adult in this scenario? With my boyfriend being 13 when the alleged actions took place, he wasn’t arrested until he was 17 and then charged as an adult. We have read different legal papers and have come across the registering as a sex offender after 2003 or 2006, one or the other, and this all happened in 1993. Is the registering as a sex offender only applying to convictions after 2003 or 2006 or can it be retro active to cases from 1993. My boyfriend was not ordered by a judge to register as a sex offender but his probation officer had him do that and he has had to do that ever since. He has gotten a few violation of probation because of not having an address and not registering and served prison time for each violation. If i’m not mistaken, in 2009 he finally got a break and the levels of a sex offender came in to play and he was given status of a level 1. With that happening, he no longer had any restrictions that he had to abide by, only he had to keep registering as a sex offender. A few years ago, he got felony charge of purchasing a $10.00 bag of marijuana because it was purchased from an undercover officer. He served a couple years in prison for that and was released on parole. Now that he is on parole, he has the restrictions of sex offenders against him and has to get any address for residence approved to make sure its not within the 1000 feet of schools, churches, daycares, etc.. What are the laws on this type of situation? If he is a level 1 offender and the restrictions were lifted with his probation, why do they now apply just because he is on parole? He has 10 months left on his parole and we are facing difficulties because of these restrictions. He paroled out to another city and held a job until his supervisor found out he was a convicted sex offender then all of a sudden they let him go. He didn’t have any luck in finding new employment and was offered a job in our home town, which is where I have a house. We tried to get his parole transferred but it was denied because my cousin and his family along with his 2 grandkids lived in the house with me and he couldn’t live there because of that, just because he is on parole. If it was his probation, it wouldn’t have mattered. He lost his apartment in Macon and didn’t have any where else to go, so he moved in with me. Needless to say, he went on the run because he couldn’t get the address approved but had to move there anyway. He is currently incarcerated for parole violation, no new charges or anything and his parole officer wanted him to sign a waiver to go back to prison and possibly up for parole in 6 months, he only has 10 months left. He refused to sign the waiver right then, wanted to discuss it with his mom and I first. His parole officer told him he had to sign the waiver right then because she wasn’t coming back to the jail that she didn’t have time for all of that. Since he refused to sign the waiver, she told him he was lucky that Bibb county didn’t take out a warrant for him for failure to register as a sex offender and threatened to have the warrant issued if he didn’t sign the waiver. Needless to say, Friday March 3 a warrant was issued for failure to register as a sex offender , at this point he has already been locked up for over 30 days and now he has accumulated a new charge, in addition to parole violation. In the twenty plus years he has been on probation, he has never had a warrant by the county issued for failure to register to go along with probation violations. Is there any kind of law against this? You would think that the failure to register is under the umbrella of the parole violation. In your legal opinion, do you think it would be beneficial to find an attorney and check in to the original charge being dropped and try for his probation to be dropped?

Chris Reply

Posted Mar 17, 2017 at 03:12:10

My wife’s ex-husband is a sex offender and is currently serving time in another state. His release is in 2019. The crime in which he committed was against their children. (my step children now) Question is, Would the state of GA still allow him his rights to the kids ? Visitation? or anything in regards to being anywhere close to them in which he may be able to cause more harm? A letter has already been wrote to him asking for him to terminate his rights but he denied our request.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 17, 2017 at 03:58:26

There is not a law which would automatically block his request for contact.

Depending on the facts, it is very unlikely that a judge would find that it was in the best interests of the children to have contact with someone who committed crimes against them serious enough to result in going to prison.

Now might be the right time to pursue termination based on his crimes against the children, whether he agrees or not.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 17, 2017 at 06:42:14

There is a lot to unpack there.

The first major question I feel like I can address is why does he have restrictions on parole when he did not have those restrictions previously. The answer is that the Parole Board determines the conditions that a person must abide by in order to be released early from incarceration. They have the authority to make those restrictions a condition of parole for persons with a prior sex offense conviction and they have chosen to do so. I think the social science research demonstrates very little benefit to these onerous conditions, but sometimes government agencies are more concerned about the “optics” of things than the reality. In this case, they prefer to look strict on sex offenders.

It is not possible for me to agree that he had no choice but to go on the run or to move into a non-approved address or fail to notify the Sheriff of his new address. He may not have liked his alternatives, but his choices put him in a worse situation.

With the age of the original case, it may be difficult to challenge, but it is certainly worth sitting down with a lawyer who does criminal appeals and post-judgement work. I am confused as to how a juvenile offense triggered registration. That seems unusual.

Hillary Reply

Posted Mar 17, 2017 at 18:26:57

In 2008, my ex-husband (father of all three of my children) was convicted of 2 counts of child molestation in the first degree wherein my two daughters were the victims. He is eligible for parole as early as August 2019. I have written him a letter requesting that he voluntarily surrender any parental rights, to which he responded he would not. My new husband has been in my children’s lives since 2009. He is the only father they know and love. It is our wish for him to adopt my three children, and the children were happy to hear about this.

My question is what is involved with having the state terminate his parental rights? What would we be up against? What are our chances in Georgia to have his parental rights taken away? Another question that I have is how easy is it for parolees to enter the state of Georgia from another state once he is released?

Unfortunately, in my divorce decree it says nothing about his rights. It only states that I have sole custody of my children.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 18, 2017 at 06:48:47

This seems like a follow up question.

If you have sole custody, then your ex-husband has no rights to have contact with the children. He would have the right to petition a court in the state that issued the order to establish visitation. That court may say yes, and it, more likely, will say no.

If you want to have your husband adopt the children and terminate your ex-husband’s rights, you need to make contact with and hire a lawyer in your area who handles adoptions; I do not. You are likely to be successful in that effort.

A person under parole or probation supervision may ask to move to another state if they have sufficient connections to the receiving state. If your children are the only relatives he has in Georgia, and they were his victims, that is not a connection that should justify a request to move.

Your best bet is to pursue the stepparent adoption.

Robert Reply

Posted Mar 19, 2017 at 16:34:40

Good evening,

I have a question regarding the regeistry. Are sex offenders required to register in the county they work in. What I’m read from 42-1-12. That info is supposed to be provided by the sheriff of the county you live in. Is that correct?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 20, 2017 at 06:15:55

OCGA 42-1-12(f) only requires registration with the sheriffs of any counties where the registrant resides or sleeps.

Andrea Reply

Posted Mar 27, 2017 at 19:59:05

I was alerted by email that a SO moved into our subdivision. He was convicted 7/1/01 and released 5/23/01 for the charge of “Child molestation”. His registration on the website doesn’t state he is “Leveled” but as a mother of a sexually molested child, I am EXTREMELY concerned with the situation.

Our subdivision is directly across the street from an elementary school and we have several hundred children that are under 18 years old withing our small community. I also know the bus stops at the end of his street.

I can only assume if he has registered his new address in our neighborhood that he is LEGALLY within parameters of the law. But as an extremely concerned parent, is there nothing I can do or we as a community can do to have him removed from the subdivision??

His street is short….5 houses and he is in a cul de sac where children play daily??

Any advice??

Andrea Reply

Posted Mar 27, 2017 at 20:00:46

^^ I apologize…..his release date was 2011…..not 2001.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 28, 2017 at 05:29:13

I know it is distressing that someone with a criminal history lives near you and your family, but that history does not mean that the person is a risk. Unfortunately, the Georgia statute for child molestation covers a large amount of territory in terms of conduct. So, with no additional information, it is hard to evaluate whether that person is even a risk.

Persons who are arrested and convicted of sex offenses are less likely to commit another sex offense than the general public. Most child sexual assaults are not by strangers but by family members or close family friends or “trusted” adults. Stranger sexual assaults are very uncommon.

The best information that we have is that only about one-one hundredth of one percent of all missing children were abducted by strangers. Those are very long odds. In your situation, you can tell your children to stay away from that person.

Georgia classifies sexual offenders as low or moderate risk or as sexual predators. Even if a situation where a person has not been leveled, the prison system is likely to have evaluated whether he or she is a predator.

Chances are that he is more scared of the children’s presence than anyone. They represent a risk that he would be accused of something and cause him to be re-arrested.

Nicholas Paige Reply

Posted Mar 29, 2017 at 10:27:10

Mr. Black. I live in NY state and am a registered level 3 sex offender. My wife and I are considering relocating to the state of Georgia. My conviction was in 1999 and I was released from prison in 2011. I completed my parole obligation in June of 2016. What are the residency restrictions and registration requirements?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 29, 2017 at 10:54:58

You must register within 72 hours of moving to Georgia.

Since the offense dates are prior to 2003, the residency and employment restrictions should not apply.

After being registered, you may want to inquire about removal from registration; that does require a court action to be filed.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Mar 29, 2017 at 11:30:39

The state law requirements remain the same in terms of registration and timing. Some sheriffs attempt to impose additional restrictions or requirements, and some engage in more aggressive investigation and monitoring of people on the list.

Nicholas Paige Reply

Posted Mar 29, 2017 at 11:49:16

Thank you for your help sir.

Frances Reply

Posted Apr 07, 2017 at 20:03:50

Do all sex offenders have a curfew in Georgia? It was presented to me that a curfew is ALWAYS a requirement.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 09, 2017 at 14:17:48

Upon sentencing, the court imposes conditions of probation. The judge is not required to impose a curfew, but some do. Parole may impose a curfew. A person convicted of a sexual offense who has completed his or her sentence is not subject to a curfew.

Marilyn Orange Reply

Posted Apr 11, 2017 at 16:24:24

HI Mr Black, can a sex offender who completed probation allowed to visit their Grandchildren? Also, if the SO is total and permanently disabled request to be taken off the Registry?

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 12, 2017 at 05:19:26

No. There are no restrictions on registrants having contact with minors beyond those that may be imposed by parole or probation conditions. There are restrictions, depending on offense dates, on residency and employment. There are also restrictions on loitering in certain areas and on taking photographs of minors without permission of the minor’s parent.

Paula Reply

Posted Apr 12, 2017 at 13:28:12

If a sex Offender registered in Ga wants to go on vacation (in-state) for one or two weeks, by law, does he have to notify the sex offender registry in the county he resides in that he will be leaving? I see this listed nowhere in 42-1-12.

Paula Reply

Posted Apr 12, 2017 at 13:33:29

Sorry, forgot to mention offense date is 2011 and on probation. I do know his probation officer would be notified but i’m wondering about the registry.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 13, 2017 at 10:29:11

This is actually a pretty tough question. You are correct that there is no specific provision on this point in OCGA 42-1-12.

However, law enforcement may try to fill in some blanks which may present problems for registrants.

If a non-resident in northeast Georgia takes a one week vacation to the Georgia coast near Savannah, they do not consider that they have changed residences.

On the other hand, a registrant is obligated under OCGA 42-1-12(f)(3) to maintain the required registration information with the sheriff of each county where the registrant resides or sleeps. So, a registrant in the example above would have to register with the county where they were conducting their vacation on the coast.

With regard to the residence county, the registrant could run into trouble if they do not alert that county of their intended absence for more than 72 hours because the residence county might check to verify that the registrant was still at the registered address and not finding them there could conclude that the registrant had absconded and take a warrant for the arrest of the registrant.

So, while the statute does not actually lay out a requirement that the registrant notify of intended extended absences, it is certainly in the registrant’s interest to make that notification.

Sean A. Black Reply

Posted Apr 13, 2017 at 10:30:50

A Georgia sex offender registrant who is not on parole or probation is not restricted from having contact with his minor grandchildren so long as the contact does not involve some violation of the criminal law or a civil restraining order and is with the consent of the parent or guardian.

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