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A closer look at the structure of Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry - III

Over the past few weeks, our blog has been taking a closer look at the sobering reality that a conviction on sex crime charges will result in you having to register as a sex offender for a lengthy amount of time or perhaps even your entire life.

Our purpose in doing this, however, has not been to cause unnecessary fear, but rather to help you understand more about why you need to take these charges very seriously, and how the system -- Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry -- actually works.

In keeping with this objective of "knowledge is power," today's post, the final in our series, will continue to explore the state's Sex Offender Registry.

The frequency with which people must register

State law sets forth some very exacting requirements when it comes to the frequency with which those convicted of sex crimes must register with either their local sheriff's office or police department:

  • Violent sex offenders: Must report on a quarterly basis during March, June, September and December.
  • Sex offenders: Must report once a year during the timeframe spanning the seven days preceding and the seven days following their date of birth.

It's worth noting that state law also dictates that between reporting dates, all sex offenders must alert local law enforcement within 48 hours of any changes to their employment status, address or school information in person.

The consequences of failing to register  

If a person fails to register as a sex offender as required by state law, they face the possibility of being charged with a Class E felony, which is punishable by up to six years in prison.

As if this wasn't discouraging enough, the failure to register as a sex offender can also constitute grounds for the revocation of parole, probation or incarceration alternatives.

It is our hope that the forgoing discussion has really served to underscore just how imperative it is to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you have been charged with any sort of sex crime as your freedom, your reputation and your future are truly at stake.

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