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What Megan’s Law Could Mean For Your Future

September 24, 2018

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Being convicted of a sex crime, public indecency crime, or child pornography crime is serious, and has life-long lasting ramifications long past your date of release from prison or jail. In addition to heavy incarceration penalties for certain sex related offenses, Pennsylvania law requires that all sex offenders register with a state database. If you have been charged with sexual assault, public indecency, sexual abuse of a child, or any other so called sex crime, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Your future depends on it.

Mandatory Registration Required by Pennsylvania Law

Under Megan’s Law, 42 Pa.C.S § 9799.32(1) and § 9799.67(1), anyone convicted of certain sexual offenses must register with a database maintained by Pennsylvania state police. This database contains information about the convicted person that can be viewed by anyone, and can ruin a person’s chances for making a new life for themselves even before they start. Whenever you move, you have to notify the police, who enter your new address into the database, which can alert your new neighbors before you even meet them in person. Failure to register with the database is a crime in and of itself under 18 Pa. C.S. § 4915.1 and 18 Pa. C.S. § 4915.2. Complete strangers will have access to the following information about you:

  • Your full name and date of birth;
  • A description of your appearance and a headshot photograph of you;
  • Your street address;
  • A map of where you live;
  • If you are homeless, a shelter name, temporary residence address, or park you reside in;
  • A description of the offense you were convicted of; and
  • Your license plate number.

What Offenses Mandate Registry With the Sex Offender Database?

The following is an incomplete list of the offenses that require registration with the Pennsylvania sex offender registry:

  • Kidnapping of a minor;
  • Unlawful restraint of a minor;
  • False imprisonment of a minor;
  • Rape;
  • Rape of a minor;
  • Statutory sexual assault (having sex with a minor under the age of 16 when the defendant is eight or more years older);
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (forcing someone to have sex by threat, or having sex with an unconscious person when the defendant knew that the defendant was unconscious);
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child;
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child resulting in serious bodily injury;
  • Indecent assault;
  • Obscene and other sexual materials and performances when the victim is a minor;
  • Promoting prostitution of a minor;
  • Sexual abuse of a child;
  • Invasion of privacy(such as watching or videotaping a nude or partially nude person without their consent); and
  • More.

Call a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Today

With your private information and conviction record made public, your future life can be torn apart even if you were convicted of accidentally looking at child pornography or another crime that you did not commit with intent. If you are facing criminal charges, you need to act now. Contact the Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys of van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today at (215) 486-0123.


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