When someone is ordered to register as a sex offender in Ohio, it is not something to take lightly. Our state takes the sex offender registry very seriously, including violations. You must understand the requirements and the potential consequences of violating registration rules. 

What Is the Ohio Sex Offender Registry? 

The sex offender registry is a database with identifying information about convicted sex offenders in Ohio. Anyone with the internet can find this registry online and search it.

The identifying information on the registry includes:

  • Name
  • Recent photo 
  • Address 
  • Date and type of conviction
  • Car type and license plate number 
  • Physical description (including tattoos)

The sex offender is responsible for ensuring that this information is kept up to date.

What Are the Registration Requirements For Sex Offenders in Ohio?

The registration requirements for Ohio sex offenders depend on their Tier classification. Tier 1 sex offenders have the lowest designation, followed by Tier 2 and Tier 3. This designation is based on the seriousness of the sex crime.

Tier 1 sex offenders must register at least once a year for 15 years. Tier 2 sex offenders must register every 180 days for 25 years. Tier 3 sex offenders must register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

All sex offenders must register their current home address and work or school address with the sheriff. This information must be kept up-to-date. 

Offenders must provide written notice at least twenty days before they move or change schools. This notice goes to the sheriff they are currently registered with and the sheriff in the county where they’re moving or attending school. Offenders must provide notice of a change in employment within three days.

You do not, however, need to notify your neighbors or employers about your status as a sex offender.

Penalties For Failing To Register and Other Violations 

The penalty for failing to register – or otherwise violating your sex offender registry obligations – can be severe.

Failure To Register Is a Criminal Offense 

Failing to register (including failing to update an address or verify accurate information) is a crime. 

In order to convict you for failure to register, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • You were ordered to register as a sex offender
  • You knew about this order
  • You failed to register (or otherwise verify or update information)

Like any other crime, they must prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.

The punishment for failure to register is based on the sex offense that led to registration. It can vary from six months to eleven years in prison. If the underlying offense is a first-degree felony, the failure to register charge is also a first-degree felony. 

Subsequent Failures To Register

If you are convicted of failure to register multiple times, the penalties are increased. A second failure to register conviction can carry one to five years in prison, and a third or subsequent conviction is a mandatory three years in prison.

Probation Violations 

Many sex offenders are also on probation. Probation may impose requirements beyond simply registering as a sex offender. 

For example, there may be restrictions on who you can associate with, programs you must complete, and even abstaining from drugs or alcohol. Some people even have a curfew or an obligation to maintain stable housing and employment. All probationers are prohibited from being convicted of a new criminal offense while on probation.

That means if you are convicted of failure to register, this can trigger a probation violation. If you are found in violation of your probation, you could serve the remainder of your sentence (or some portion of it). This is on top of the time that you serve for the failure to register charge. It might feel like you got punished twice for the violation. 

Avoiding Sex Offender Registry Violations in Ohio 

In order to avoid these consequences, make sure that you understand the registration requirements after your release. 

Keep in contact with your Ohio criminal defense lawyer and probation officer to ensure you are transparent and always meeting your obligations. It is better to be overly cautious than to make a mistake that could cost years of your life.

Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States