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FAQs About Megan’s Law

August 10, 2021

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Recently, a Lock Haven man was charged and now faces up to 34 years in prison for posing as a 19-year-old to meet younger girls. The man, who is 26 years old, started an online relationship with a 16-year-old and asked her to send him sexually explicit photos before arranging to meet her in person. If convicted, the penalties will likely be harsh, as the man was already registered under Megan’s Law.

Megan’s Law requires those that have been convicted of or plead guilty to a sexual offense to register on a public sex offender registry. While many people know that Megan’s Law provides a way to track sexual offenders, they do not know much more about it. To explain the law further, our criminal defense lawyers have rounded up the most frequently asked questions about the law, and have provided the answers to them.

What Information is Listed Within the Registry?

The registry is maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police and includes Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators. Individuals classified as either must submit the following information to the registry:

  • Full name and all aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Address including county, city, municipality and zip code for every residence
  • The full address of any educational institution the offender is currently enrolled as a student
  • The full address of any place of employment
  • Name of the correctional institution or other place of confinement, when applicable
  • A photograph, which is updated at least once a year
  • A full physical description, including any identifying marks
  • Description of the offender’s vehicle, as well as the license plate number
  • When applicable, if the victim was a minor
  • A description of the offense
  • The date of conviction

What are the Penalties for Violating the Requirements of the Law?

Anyone that does not comply with the requirements under Megan’s Law will be charged with a felony of the third degree. Individuals that help offenders elude law enforcement when accused of non-compliance can also face felony of the third degree charges.

Who is Considered a ‘Sexual Offender’ Under the Law?

To be classified as a sexual offender, a person must have been convicted of or plead guilty to a sexually violent offense, such as rape or sexual assault.

Who is Considered a ‘Sexually Violent Predator’ Under the Law?

To be classified as a sexually violent predator, a person must be considered a Sexual Offender and, after being evaluated by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, has been deemed to have a personality disorder or other mental abnormality that causes the person to engage in offenses of a sexually violent nature.

How Long Must a Person Be Registered?

Sexual Offenders must register for either ten years, or for their entire life, depending on the severity of the offense. Sexually Violent Predators are required to register for a lifetime.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Philadelphia Can Help You Avoid the Registry

Having to register as a sex offender will place great limitations on your life, and will impact you for years to come. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers can help you avoid these harmful consequences by preparing a solid defense for your case. If you have been charged with a sex crime, call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.


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