Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

AG Buddy Caldwell to sex offenders caught in Isaac: notify police of your whereabouts

On Tuesday, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued a statement clarifying that registered sex offenders who evacuate to escape Hurricane Isaac must report their change in residence to local law enforcement. That is in accord with Louisiana law, under which registered sex offenders must notify law enforcement of any changes in residence, including any temporary situation that causes absence from one's usual place of residence for seven or more days.

The quickest and easiest way to comply with the law, according to Caldwell, is to log onto the internet-based law enforcement notification service provided by the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association.

Having to notify law enforcement of changes in address is only one aspect of the consequences that result from conviction of a sex offense. And it seems the requirements for sex offenders are continually becoming more stringent. Earlier this year, a new Louisiana law was passed which requires sex offenders and child predators to state their criminal status on their Facebook or other social networking page.

That law became effective on August 1, and its sponsor-State Rep. Jeff Thompson-believes that it will stand up to constitutional challenge. It is the latest addition to statutes requiring public notice and registration by sex offenders.

Those accused of sex crimes need to understand the serious consequences that can follow a conviction, and the power the government has to prosecute such cases. Building a strong defense from the beginning can help in having charges dismissed or minimized.

Source: Shreveporttimes.com, "Sex offenders must register after evacuation," Gannett Capital Bureau, August 28, 2012

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