Sex Offender FAQ's

GEORGIA'S SEXUALLY VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRY

Important Note: The information in this FAQ will change significantly when a new law affecting sex offenders goes in to effect July 1, 2006. The text of this new law can be found at http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2005_06/fulltext/hb1059.htm.   An updated FAQ that includes these changes will be posted at a later date.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 1.   WHAT IS A SEXUAL OFFENDER?

  • A person who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense; or
  • A person who has been convicted under the laws of another state or territory, under the laws of the United States, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or in a tribal court of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or a dangerous sexual offense.

2. WHAT IS A DANGEROUS SEXUAL PREDATOR?

  • A person who was designated as a sexually violent predator between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2006; or
  • A person who is determined by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to be at risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense.

3. WHO IS REQUIRED TO REGISTER?

  • Persons convicted on or after July 1, 1996 of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor.
  • Persons convicted on or after July 1, 2006 of a dangerous sexual offense.
  • Persons previously convicted of a criminal offense against a minor and may be released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation on or after July 1, 1996.
  • Persons sentenced under the first offender act in Georgia, are required to register until the sentence is successfully completed.
  • A nonresident sexual offender who changes residence from another state or territory of the United States to Georgia who is required to register as a sexual offender under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
  • A nonresident sexual offender who enters this state for the purpose of employment or any other reason for a period exceeding 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year regardless of whether such sexual offender is required to register under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory.
  • A nonresident sexual offender who enters this state for the purpose of attending school as a full-time or part-time student regardless of whether such sexual offender is required to register under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory.

4. WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER?

  • If a person convicted of a sexual offense in Georgia was released from prison, placed on probation or supervised released before July 1, 1996, he/she is not required to register as a sexual offender.
  • A person who was convicted of a misdemeanor sexual offense after June 30, 2001.
  • A person prosecuted for a sexual offense in juvenile court after June 30, 2001.

5. WHO IS REQUIRED TO PAY A $250.00 REGISTRATION FEE?

  • Persons  convicted of a dangerous sexual offense on or after July 1, 2006 are required to pay an annual registration fee of $250.00 to the sheriff of the county where the person resides upon each anniversary.

6. WHO ENTERS THE SEXUAL OFFENDERS ON THE GEORGIA SEXUALLY VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRY?

  • The sexual offender records are entered on the registry by the Department of Corrections and State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation enters the sexual offender records for the sexual offenders who relocate to Georgia from another state.

7. HOW OFTEN IS THE GEORGIA SEXUALLY VIOLENT OFFENDER REGISTRY UPDATED?

  • Sheriffs are responsible for updating all information provided by the sexual offender within two working days. The Sexual Offender Registry is updated daily with all record changes.

8.   WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR THE SEXUAL OFFENDER TO REGISTER?

  • Any sexual offender required to register under this Code section shall provide the required registration information to the appropriate official before being released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation.
  • The sexual offender must register with the sheriff of the county in which the sexual offender resides within 72 hours after the sexual offender’s release from prison or placement on parole, supervised release, probation, or entry into this state.
  • The sexual offender must renew the required registration information with the sheriff of the county in which the sexual offender resides by reporting to the sheriff within 72 hours prior to such sexual offender’s birthday each year to be photographed and fingerprinted.
  • In addition to the requirements of registration for all sexual offenders, a sexually dangerous predator shall also report to the sheriff of the county where such predator resides six months following his or her birth month and update or verify his or her required registration information.
  • The sexual offender must also register in any other state where he or she is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.

9. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SEXUAL OFFENDER FAILS TO REGISTER?

  • Any individual who is required to register under this Code section and who fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section, or provides false information, or fails to respond directly to the sheriff within 72 hours of such individual’s birthday shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years. 

10. WHAT HAPPENS IF A SEXUAL OFFENDER CHANGES ANY OF THE REQUIRED REGISTRATION INFORMATION?

  • If the sexual offender changes any of the required registration information, other than residence address, the sexual offender shall give the new information to the sheriff of the county with whom the sexual offender is registered within 72 hours of the change of information; if the information is the sexual offender’s new residence address, the sexual offender shall give the information  to the sheriff of the county with whom the sexual offender last registered within 72 hours prior to moving and to the sheriff of the county to which the sexual offender is moving within 72 hours after the change of information.

 

11. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF A  SEXUAL OFFENDER HAS AN INCORRECT ADDRESS?

  • Sheriff of the county of sexual offender’s residence.

12. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SEXUAL OFFENDER RELOCATES TO GEORGIA?

  • The sexual offender must report in person to the Sheriff of the county of residence within 72 hours of re-locating to the State of Georgia.

13. WHAT HAPPENS IF A SEXUAL OFFENDER MOVES TO ANOTHER STATE?

  • If an sexual offender changes residence to another state, the sexual offender shall register the new address with the sheriff of the county with whom the sexual offender last registered, and the sexual offender shall also register with a designated law enforcement agency in the new state within 72 hours after establishing residence in the new state.

14. WHY CAN'T I FIND A SEXUAL OFFENDER'S RECORD ON THE REGISTRY?


Several reasons may explain why a sexual offender is not shown on the registry;

  • The sexual offender is deceased and therefore the record was deleted.
  • The sexual offender you are checking on does not meet registration requirements.
  • The sexual offender is a new registrant and the information has not been submitted at the time of inquiry.
  • You have entered incorrect information to search for the sexual offender (for example, name or county).

15. ARE JUVENILES REQUIRED TO REGISTER?

  • No, unless they are tried and convicted as an adult.

16. HOW LONG DOES A SEXUAL OFFENDER REMAIN ON THE REGISTRY?

  • LIFE    Or 
  • Per O.C.G.A. 42-1-12 (g) (1) “Any sexual offender required to register under this Code section who meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (2) of this Code section may petition the superior court of the jurisdiction in which the sexual offender is registered to be released from the registration requirements of this Code section. The court may issue an order releasing the sexual offender from further registration if the court finds that the sexual offender does not pose a substantial risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense.

(2) In order to petition the court pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the sexual offender shall:
(A) Have been sentenced pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 17-10-6.2; and
(B) Have had ten years elapse since his or her release from prison, parole, supervised release, or probation.”


17. WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I HARBOR A SEXUAL OFFENDER?  

  • “Any person who knows or reasonably believes that a sexual offender, as defined in Code Section 42-1-12, is not complying, or has not complied, with the requirements of Code Section 42-1-12 and who, with the intent to assist such sexual offender in eluding a law enforcement unit that is seeking such sexual offender to question him or her about, or to arrest him or her for, his or her noncompliance with the requirements of Code Section 42-1-12:

(1) Harbors, attempts to harbor, or assists another person in harboring or attempting harbor such sexual offender;
(2) Conceals, attempts to conceal, or assists another person in concealing or attempting to conceal such sexual offender; or
(3) Provides information to the law enforcement unit regarding such sexual offender which the person knows to be false information
Commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years."

18. DOES GEORGIA PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL SEXUAL OFFENDER PUBLIC REGISTRY?

Yes, effective October 1, 2005.  The web address for the national registry is www.nsopr.gov .

GBI Georgia Bureau of Investigation