Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Louisiana lawmakers want sex offenders to pay for ID cards

A sex crime conviction can lead to a number of negative consequences. It can result in time behind bars, excessive fines and mandatory sex offender registration. Further, conviction for a sex crime will likely impact a person's relationships with family members, friends, co-workers and others in a neighborhood. As if these penalties are not enough, Louisiana lawmakers are seeking to force sex offenders to buy their own state identification cards.

Right now, Louisiana provides free identification cards to residents over 60. With House Bill 167, certain legislators are hoping to require all sex offenders, regardless of age, to pay for their own state identification cards.

One lawmaker who supports this proposed legislation noted that the state currently has 685 sex offenders who are over the age of 60. If each of these individuals were to pay for his or her own state identification card, Louisiana would collect $12,000. Supporters of this bill hope to gain momentum by emphasizing the financial gain for the state.

Critics argue that sex offenders already have enough penalties to deal with. The lives of people convicted of sex crimes such as rape, sexual assault or child pornography are never the same. The stigma of a sex crime follows them everywhere. Further, a conviction will remain on a person's criminal record, visible anytime a prospective employer runs a background check.

If someone is required to register as a sex offender, the consequences are even more lasting. This dictates where a person can live and travel. It can impact aspects of a person's life that he or she never anticipated.

Because a sex crime conviction has serious consequences, it is essential that anyone accused of this type of activity consult with an experienced defense attorney immediately. A defense lawyer will work hard to minimize the impact of the charge.

Source: the towntalk.com, "Bill would make sex offenders pay for ID cards," Mike Hasten, 5 May 2011

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