What Happens if You Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Utah?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

When you’re convicted of a sex crime in West Valley City, Salt Lake City, Park City, or anywhere else in Utah, you may have to register as a sex offender.  You’ll also have to obey a strict set of rules for as long as you are registered.  It’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with these rules — because if you break them, you could find yourself on the registry for much longer than you expected.  You could even be charged with another crime.

Who Has to Register?

You must register for 10 years if you were convicted of any of the following:

  • Aggravated Human Trafficking
  • Forcible Sexual Abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Lewdness Involving a Child
  • Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor
  • Voyeurism

You must register for life if you were convicted of any of the following:

  • Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Child Kidnapping
  • Rape or Object Rape
  • Rape or Object Rape of a Child
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

The above lists are non-exhaustive and do not include every possible registrable offense.  For a full list, refer to the Utah Department of Corrections.

A final point to remember: while each state has its own local registry, the registry system is federal and crosses state boundaries. Even if you were convicted out-of-state and are simply entering Utah, you must register within 10 days of arrival.

being fingerprinted for a crime

What Are the Requirements for Utah Sex Offenders?

There’s more to the registry than the act of simply registering.  You’ll be required to follow a long list of strict, specific rules for the entire duration of your registration.  These rules vary depending on the age of the victim.  Offenders with adult victims are placed into “Group B,” while offenders whose crimes involved minors are put into “Group A.”  Group A offenders are subject to stricter requirements than Group B offenders.

Members of both groups are required to:

  • Enter into — and more importantly, successfully complete — court-ordered therapy.  “Successful completion” is determined by the therapists, not the offender.
  • Comply with ordered curfews and/or electronic monitoring (i.e. an ankle bracelet).
  • Avoid direct and indirect contact with the victim and/or their family members, unless you have explicit written permission from the Board of Pardons and Parole.
  • Avoid buying or possessing any books, magazines, movies, drawings, or other “material that acts as a sexual stimulus,” unless you have the parole officer’s approval.  This includes any material showing naked human bodies or child exploitation.
  • Undergo random lie detector testing.
  • Have their employment approved by the parole officer.
  • Get the parole officer’s approval before moving.
  • Have their blood drawn for DNA banks.

Members of Group A have extra restrictions related to minors.  For example, a Group A offender would not be allowed to date or even speak to anyone under 18 years old, and would also be prohibited from visiting “places or events where children congregate.”  That means schools (private or public), daycare centers, public pools, public playgrounds, and public parks.

male judge hand banging a gavel against grey background

What Happens if You Break the Rules?

It’s important to know that if you break any of the registry rules which apply to your group, not only will the length of your registration be extended by a full year for each year of noncompliance — a serious disadvantage in its own right — you could also be charged with a crime.  That’s right: Section 77-41-107 of the Utah Code of Criminal Procedure makes it a crime to fail to register, or to provide inaccurate or incomplete information when you do register.

If you commit either of these offenses, you could facing a Class A Misdemeanor or even a third degree felony.  If you’re found guilty of a misdemeanor, you’ll be incarcerated for up to three months.  If found guilty of a felony, you’ll be incarcerated for at least three months.  In both cases, you’ll also receive a full year — at minimum — of supervision by a parole officer.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a sex crime in Utah, you need a compassionate lawyer who will protect your legal rights and fight for you in court.  To set up a completely confidential consultation free of charge, call Salt Lake City rape attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 733-1308.

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