How does Tennessee’s sex offender registry work?

Tennessee residents accused of sex crimes should learn about the state’s sex offender registry and what it may mean for them if they are convicted of a sex crime.

Every state in the country has some form of program that requires a person convicted of some sex crimes to register as a sex offender and Tennessee is no exception to that. The designation of a sex offender can have a significant impact on a person's life and on their ability to rebuild a positive future. Understanding how the sex offender registry works is important for anyone facing such charges.

Information collected by the registry

A person who must register as a sex offender is required to provide a variety of data including all identifying information for their physical and online personas. This includes addresses for where they work, live and attend school as well as any email addresses they have. Phone numbers are also required to be provided.

This information must be kept updated and if any changes to a registrant's residence, job or school occurs, notification must be made in person with 48 hours.

Other updates are required either quarterly or annually depending on the nature of the offense the person was convicted of. For any offense that results in a person being identified as a violent sexual offender, a registration must be updated four times a year. These people are required to register for life.

For non-violent offenses, annual updates are required. After an initial 10-year term, a person deemed a non-violent sexual offender may petition for expiration of their required registry.

An initial registration must be made within 48 hours of a person's release from prison.

Registration violations

Several things may lead a person to be in violation of the sex offender registry law. If this occurs, the registrant may face new criminal charges. An example of this can be seen in the case of a man who, according to Johnson City Press, was found to have a social media account and an email account that had not been disclosed to authorities. As a result, the man was charged with additional offenses.

Registration Errors Possible

One man found out the hard way that sex offender registry systems are not without potential errors or problems. In fact, WREG.com indicates that the man was erroneously listed on a sex offender registry list from Texas which led to his arrest in Tennessee. After further investigation, the error was discovered and all charges against the man were dropped.

Defendants deserve fair treatment

Whether it be inaccurate data on a registry list or the need for an initial defense against charges, people in Tennessee struggling with accusations of sexual misconduct should seek out an experienced attorney who fully understands this area of the law.