Being convicted of any criminal offense can be a life-altering experience, and not for the better. Being convicted of a sex crime may be especially tough because defendants must register as sex offenders.
There are many restrictions on what registered sex offenders can do after they are convicted. Certain locations frequented by young people, like schools, playgrounds, or community centers, are usually off-limits. Not only that, but certain jobs involving children are not permitted to hire registered sex offenders. In fact, finding work in any field as a registered sex offender is likely to be difficult. While Utah does not place any specific restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live, they typically cannot reside in or near ordinarily off-limits locations, like schools. In some cases, it might be possible to remove yourself from the registry with the help of a skilled lawyer.
If you are a registered sex offender, you should be informed about certain restrictions and limitations. Failure to abide by these rules might lead to more legal penalties. For a free case review, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.
Locations Off-Limits to Registered Sex Offenders in Utah
After a defendant is convicted of certain sex offenses, they must register as a sex offender with the state. As a registered sex offender, there are restrictions on where a registrant can and cannot go. According to the Utah Department of Corrections, five protected zones are off-limits for those convicted of crimes against minors.
As a sex offender, you generally cannot go anywhere children tend to congregate. This includes daycares, public swimming pools, primary or secondary schools, parks, and public playgrounds. According to Utah Code § 77-27-21.7(4), a violation of the restrictions on protected zones may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is only one step below a felony.
Although the rules against where registered sex offenders can go are strict, it is not without exceptions. Under the law, registered offenders can enter certain protected zones if they must do so to fulfill parental responsibilities. For example, a registered offender may be permitted to enter school grounds if they need to pick up their child from school.
Alternatively, a registrant can enter buildings and areas connected to protected zones but are designated for other uses. For example, suppose the public lobby of an office building is connected to a daycare center. A registered sex offender can enter the lobby of the building to go to work as long they do not go inside the daycare center.
Registrants can also enter protected zones if they are used for reasons other than their ordinary purposes. For example, a registered sex offender can enter a public high school if the school happens to be a polling place where the registrant needs to vote.
What Jobs Are Sex Offenders Not Allowed to Have in Utah?
Not only are there restrictions on where registered sex offenders may go around Utah, but there are also restrictions and limitations on where they can work. Although these restrictions are not necessarily imposed by state statute, they may still significantly impact career options for registered sex offenders. Our Ogden sex crimes defense lawyers can help you fight your charges so you can hopefully avoid a conviction and do not have to register.
Jobs that would place a registered sex offender in a restricted zone or area are off-limits. For example, a registrant cannot accept a job as a janitor in a public school because they are not permitted to enter schools or school zones.
In addition, certain fields require job applicants have clean criminal backgrounds. Convictions, especially felony convictions or those that require registration, are highly likely to disqualify you from many jobs. Even if a particular job does not require a clean criminal background, employers might be hesitant to hire someone who is a registered sex offender.
Limitations on Where Sex Offenders Can Live in Utah
Unlike many other states, Utah does not impose statutory restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live. Many states have rules against offenders living in certain areas or within a certain distance of protected zones. Utah, however, does not impose such restrictions, and registered sex offenders may live wherever they wish. If you have recently been charged with a sex offense, talk to our Utah sex crimes defense lawyers about how to avoid a conviction and registration requirements.
Even so, this does not mean that registered offenders will not have any trouble finding housing. For example, suppose a potential landlord learns that an applicant for an apartment is a registered sex offender. In that case, they might deny the application because children live in the building.
Registered sex offenders must also be careful about what neighborhoods they live in. The registry is accessible to the public, and the local police department must always be notified of your address. If neighbors in your community are notified of your registration status, they might take great offense and pressure you to leave the neighborhood. Although this is not exactly a legal issue, severe social ostracization and stigma make life difficult for registrants no matter where they live.
Can I Be Removed from the Utah Sex Offender Registry?
It might be possible to remove your name from Utah’s sex offender registry under certain conditions. How long you must register depends on the offense you were convicted of. Procedures for removal may be found under Utah Code § 77-41-112, including procedures for various criminal convictions. Our Park City sex crimes defense lawyers can review your case and help you determine if you are a good candidate for removal.
Different offenses come with different registration requirements. Suppose you are convicted of certain sex offenses, including enticing a minor, unlawful detention, or unlawful sexual activity with a minor. In that case, you can request to be removed from the registry no earlier than 5 years after your sentence has been served. You must also have not been convicted of any other offenses during the 5 years after serving your sentence and complete all requirements imposed by the court, including court-ordered counseling and restitution.
Other more serious offenses require the defendant to be on the sex offender registry for at least 10 years after completing their sentence. Still, some convicted defendants are required to register for life. In those cases, our legal team can help you plead your case to the Board of Pardons and Paroles in the hopes of getting your conviction pardoned. Remember that getting a pardon is difficult, and most applications are unsuccessful.
Contact Our Utah Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers for Help
If you are facing charges for sex offenses, our Provo sex crimes defense lawyers can help you fight these charges, so you hopefully do not have to register. For a free case review, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.