Learning that you are going to be charged with some type of sex crime is an understandably unnerving proposition. That's because you not only face significant time in prison, but also the societal stigma that frequently attaches to these charges ... regardless of your innocence.
The prospect of a sex crime charges is also unsettling in that a conviction will result in you having to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement officials for a potentially lengthy timeframe.
In order to help you understand just how much of a burden this can prove to be, our blog will spend some time discussing the structure and requirements of Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry, which has been in existence for roughly 20 years due to a federal mandate.
The two classifications of offender
While state law essentially dictates that anyone convicted of a sex crime will have to register with law enforcement, these registrations requirements vary depending upon whether a person is ultimately classified as either a "sexual offender" or a "violent sexual offender."
In general, a person classified as a sexual offender is one who has committed any of the offenses enumerated in Section 40-39-202 (20) of the Tennessee Code, including indecent exposure, statutory rape and solicitation to name only a few.
Similarly, a person classified as a violent sexual offender is one who has committed any of the offenses enumerated in Section 40-39-202 (28) of the Tennessee Code, including rape or aggravated sexual battery.
We will continue to explore this important topic in future posts, discussing the significance of these differences in classification and providing additional insight into the practical realities of Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry.
The aforementioned should serve to underscore just how serious sex crime charges can be and why it's so crucial to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible in order to protect your reputation, your livelihood and, most significantly, your freedom.