Many Baton Rouge defendants focus on immediate hardships caused by criminal charges like the humiliation of an arrest, police questioning, bail conditions, family disruption, media attention and the prospect of going to trial. These are legitimate concerns defense attorneys help mitigate.
Long-term consequences are equally as threatening, particularly with allegations of sex offenses.
A defendant convicted of a sex crime may be ordered to provide information to the State Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry. Defendants’ personal details, including where they live and work, are made available to the public. How long those details remain available to anyone – employers, neighbors, landlords and educational institutions – depends upon the sex crime committed.
Convicted defendants are tracked for a minimum of 15 years for crimes requiring registration, with information renewals conducted annually. Some crimes that fall within the 15-year, also known as the Tier I range, include teacher-student sexual misconduct, false imprisonment of a minor, stalking a minor, sexual battery, contributing to juvenile delinquency and voyeurism.
Sex offenses from Tier II are all crimes involving minors — pornography involving juveniles, human trafficking and molestation of a juvenile are among the crimes listed under Tier II. Defendants found guilty of these crimes are placed on the registry 25 years. The defendant must update personal details twice a year.
Tier III crimes are the most serious including forcible rape and aggravated offenses involving sexual battery, kidnapping, rape and other crimes. Convicted defendants of Tier III crimes are ordered to register as a sex offender for life, affecting every aspect of a defendant’s well-being.
Depending on the nature of the sex crime, a Louisiana conviction may result in severe punishment. Initial legal efforts are directed at making sure a case is dropped, charges are reduced or a conviction is avoided. When appropriate, plea bargaining may be recommended, keeping in mind a deal with prosecutors requires a guilty plea.
Source: Louisiana State Police, “State Sex Offender & Child Predator Registry” accessed Feb. 20, 2015