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Trying to live within the lines

Many people have observed that Tennessee’s restrictions on where sex offenders can live and work are deliberately difficult to comply with. The restrictions appear to many to be designed to create opportunities for law enforcement officials to arrest offenders at virtually any time for violations that are virtually impossible to avoid.

We read recently of a man who was required to register as a sex offender who was arrested for living near childcare facilities that included a school, daycare businesses and a city park.

The 34-year-old Nashville-area man was being tracked by GPS, news sources reported. Officers said that when they monitored the GPS, they realized he was living too near restricted areas.

According to Tennessee law, sex offenders cannot “knowingly establish a primary or secondary residence or any other living arrangement” within 1,000 feet of the property line of a public or private school, licensed daycare center, public park or playground, recreation center or athletic field available to the public.

Think of a map of Chattanooga and how many places there might be to live here that do not violate one of those restrictions. For instance, on its website, the city boasts of 106 public park sites and more than 60 schools. In addition, there are dozens upon dozens of daycare facilities large and small scattered throughout the city.

The state says on its website that the first violation of the restrictions can mean a fine of no less than $350 and incarceration for no less than 90 days. Imprisonment for a second violation rises to no less than 180 days and for a third violation goes all the way up to no less than a full year behind bars.

If you have been charged with a sexual offense or a registration violation, contact a Chattanooga law firm experienced in defending rights and freedom in these matters.

 

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