An overview of Megan’s Law and sex crimes

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Sex crimes are a serious and often misunderstood area of criminal law. If you face sex crime accusations, it is important to understand your rights and the potential consequences of a conviction.

You are innocent until proven guilty. This means the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the supposed crime. One set of laws that covers sex crime cases is Megan’s Law.

What is Megan’s Law?

Enacted in the United States in 1996 in response to a case in New Jersey, Megan’s Law requires states to establish registry programs for individuals convicted of certain sex crimes, including sexual assault and child molestation.

These registries provide information to the public about the presence of sex offenders in their communities and help law enforcement officers monitor these individuals.

How does Pennsylvania law handle sex crimes?

In Pennsylvania, Megan’s Law requires individuals convicted of certain sex crimes to register with the state’s Sex Offender Registry. The Pennsylvania State Police maintain this registry. It is accessible to the public through a website. The information listed includes the offender’s name, address and nature of the crime.

If you face a sex crime charge in Pennsylvania, understand how Megan’s Law may affect your case. You might need to register as a sex offender post-conviction. Some offenses require a ten-year registration, while other crimes of a sexual nature lead to a mandatory lifetime registration.

Other potential consequences of a sex crime conviction include imprisonment, fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. This can lead to serious consequences for your personal and professional life, including difficulty finding employment and housing.

Understanding the laws surrounding sex crimes can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights remain protected.