Georgia Sex Offender Registry
Author: Joseph A. Conoscienti, Partner, Conoscienti, Ledbetter & Archer
Mr. Conoscienti specializes in criminal law but likewise has experience in general civil trial practice. Joseph Conoscienti is a part-time Associate Judge for the Municipality of Avonndale Estates, Georgia. Published on August 3, 2018, last updated on June 13, 2019.
The Georgia sex offender registry is a tracking tool provided by state law enforcement. However, it also has its complications since laws change and individual circumstances vary. Read on for a complete guide to the registry.
The sex offender registry Georgia is a public database that lists the names, ages, and locations of those convicted of crimes against minors in the state. The primary law that dictates the sex offender registry is OCGA 42-1-12, which outlines sex crimes and required registry information. Like other states, Georgia makes information such as the sex offender search page and bi-monthly map showing dots marking the homes of sex offenders available and easily accessible for the public. The main goal of doing so is to educate and protect the public from sex offenders. To help enforce registry laws, Georgia has instituted the Sex Offender Registration Task Force (SORTF), part of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, made up of eleven deputies, one sheriff, and SORTF advisors. Each region of the state has a deputy on this task force in order to ensure that sex offender registry efforts are coordinated throughout the entire state of Georgia.
In Georgia, the persons who must register as sex offenders are:
- Those convicted of, or those who are released from prison or on probation for a sex crime, on or after July 1, 1996.
- People who are Georgia residents or nonresidents who intend to move to Georgia but were convicted of sexually violent crimes in another state.
The Georgia sex offender registry laws changed significantly in 2010 when Governor Perdue reduced employment and residence restrictions and made some offenders eligible to be removed from the list.
The sex offender registry is the most visited government website, despite its many errors. According to a fifty-three-page audit report authored in 2010, the sex offender registry site is error-ridden and has incomplete and outdated information due to faulty computer programs, understaffing, underfunding, and poor communication between government agencies. The registry’s shortcomings continue to be a problem years later. Every year from 2011 through 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice has found Georgia’s sex offender registry deficient because it does not gather enough information about the offenders. This deficiency, much of which centers around the sex offender registry GA’s failure to assign risk levels to each offender, could mean the state of Georgia does not receive as much funding from federal grants as it has in the past.
Particularly in light of the serious ramifications of appearing on the sex offender registry in the State of Georgia, you need to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can for a free initial case review and to explore your legal rights and your possible case.
The list of sex offenses that qualify for the sex offender registration has expanded and changed over time. For example, the rules about crimes against minors changed in June 2001. In general, however, the two categories of crimes that require registration on the sex offender registry in the State of Georgia are 1) criminal offense against a victim who is a minor and 2) dangerous sexual offense. Only felony criminal offenses against minor victims count; misdemeanors do not require registration.
These two categories include many different crimes, but some examples of crimes that require people to be named on the sex offender registry are:
- Aggravated assault with the intent to rape
- Kidnapping that involves a victim who is less than fourteen years of age, except by a parent
- Rape or sodomy (including statutory rape and aggravated sodomy)
- Child molestation (including aggravated child molestation)
- Human trafficking
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Making, disseminating, selling, or buying computer pornography involving a minor
- Any conduct against a minor that is sexual in nature
OCGA 42-1-12 sections 9A/9B and sections 10A/10B1/10B2/10B3 are two examples of how sex offender registry Georgia laws have evolved over time. Sections 9A and 9B deal with crimes against minors, and the law there changed as of June 30, 2001. Sections 10A/10B1/10B2/10B3 deal with the definition of “dangerous sexual offenses,” and as you might guess from the many versions of this section of law, the rule changed multiple times over the years. An important thing to note if you are facing registration on the sex offender list is that the law that applies to your case is the law that was in place at the time of your conviction. If you have questions about whether the registration requirements apply to you, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Getting your name removed from the sex offender list can be an arduous task – even with the help of a lawyer – but it is well worth it in the end. In order to be removed from the list, certain requirements apply.
First, if the person’s sentence ended in the past 10 years, he or she must be classified as a Level 1 Offender. Level 1 offenders are low risk offenders as classified by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board of Georgia. To be classified as such, a psychological evaluation may be required.
If you are a Level 1 offender, you will need to gather information to support your claim, e.g. treatment records, character letters, and witness statements from probation officers or local law enforcement. You should also be prepared to tell your lawyer about your case and charges, your conviction, and what you have been doing since completing your sentence.
After working with your attorney to see if you meet the basic requirements and gather information, your attorney will prepare and file a petition for removal. A hearing will be held where your lawyer explains why you should no longer be listed on the registry. In order to be removed from the sex offender registry GA, there must be proof that you have no other sex offense allegations or convictions against you, the victim suffered no intentional harm and wasn’t physically restrained, and the offense didn’t involve transporting the victim. If you are eligible and a judge rules in your favor, your name will be removed from the registry.
At its most basic criteria, to be removed from the sex offender registry, the offender must:
- Have committed an offense involving people who were eighteen (18) years old or younger at the time of the offense and victims who were fourteen (14) years old or older with no more than a four (4) year age difference between the two
- Have completed their sentence and have proven since that time that they are not a risk to commit any offenses in the future
Particularly in light of the serious ramifications of appearing on the GA sex offender registry, you need to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can for a free initial case review and to explore your legal rights and your possible case.
In this section, we will be defining key terms for GA Sex Offender Registry to help you better understand the information surrounding the registry.
Address – The street or route address of the sexual offender’s residence.
Appropriate Official – With respect to a sexual offender who is sentenced to probation without any sentence of incarceration in the state prison system or who is sentenced pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 8 of this title, relating to first offenders, the Department of Community Supervision.
Area Where Minors Congregate – All public and private parks and recreation facilities, playgrounds, skating rinks, neighborhood centers, gymnasiums, school bus stops, public libraries, and public and community swimming pools.
Assessment Criteria – The tests that the board members use to determine the likelihood that a sexual offender will commit another criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or commit a dangerous sexual offense.
Child Care Facility – All public and private pre-kindergarten facilities, child care learning centers, preschool facilities, and long-term care facilities for children.
Church – A place of public religious worship.
Conviction – A final judgment of conviction entered upon a verdict or finding of guilty of a crime, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere.
Criminal Offense Against a Victim Who is a Minor – With respect to convictions occurring on or before June 30, 2001, means any criminal offense under Title 16.
Institution of Higher Education – This refers to a private or public community college, state university, state college, or independent postsecondary institution.
Level I risk assessment classification – This classification means sexual offenders are a low sex offense risk and low recidivism risk for future sexual offenses.
Level II risk assessment classification – Level II classification means the sexual offenders are an intermediate sex offense risk and intermediate recidivism risk for future sexual offenses. It includes all sexual offenders who do not meet the criteria for classification either as a sexually dangerous predator or for Level I risk assessment.
Minor – Minor refers to any individual under the age of 18 years and any individual that the sexual offender believed at the time of the offense was under the age of 18 years if such individual was the victim of an offense.
Required registration information – This refers to all of the information a sexual offender must submit to the registry, including data such as name; social security number; age; race; sex; date of birth; height; weight; hair color; eye color; fingerprints; photograph; and address
Sexual offender – means any individual:
- Who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense;
- Who has been convicted under the laws of another state or territory, under the laws of the United States, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or in a tribal court of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or a dangerous sexual offense; or
- Who is required to register pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section.
Sexually dangerous predator – means a sexual offender:
- Who was designated as a sexually violent predator between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2006; or
- Who is determined by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to be at risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense.
Vocation – This refers to any full-time, part-time, or volunteer employment with or without compensation exceeding 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year
For more information about your specific type of criminal case in the state of Georgia, please select a page below:
Below, we answer some commonly asked questions about sex offender registration. If you have additional questions about the subject or criminal cases from DUI to drug charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How to get off the sex offender registry in Georgia?
- Has completed all prison, parole, supervised release, and probation for the offense which required registration.
- Is confined to a hospice facility, skilled nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly, or nursing home.
- Is totally and permanently disabled.
- Is otherwise seriously physically incapacitated due to illness or injury.
How long do you stay on the sex offender registry Georgia?
Where can sex offenders live in Georgia?
In some cases, such as if the crime was committed prior to June 4, 2003, there may not be any restrictions on where a sex offender can live in Georgia. In other cases, sex offenders cannot reside within 1000 feet of any child care facility, church, school, public or private park, some types of recreation facility (e.g. playgrounds, skating rinks, swimming pools, neighborhood centers, gymnasiums), or school bus stop.
What is the time frame for sex offenders to re-register each year in Georgia?
The first time a sexual offender registers, they must do so in person with the county sheriff within 72 hours after their release from prison or after being placed on probation, parole, supervised release. If they are from a different state moving to Georgia, they must also register within 72 hours of entering the state.
Sexual offenders in Georgia must re-register each year. This must be done in person within 72 hours prior to the offender’s birthday. If the offender moves residences, they must re-register within 72 hours prior to the change of address.