DC Sex Offender Registry

When you are convicted of certain sex crimes in Washington, DC, you will be required to register as a sex offender. Registration as a sex offender can have a profound negative impact on your life. You may be restricted in where you can live and work, and in the recreational activities in which you can participate. Your neighbors may be notified of your status on the DC sex offender registry, and you may be subject to close community supervision.  The only way to avoid these onerous obligations is to avoid conviction or negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense when you are first accused of a sex crime.

A sex crimes lawyer can help you to try to stay off the DC sex offender registry and can defend you if you are accused of violating any of the registration requirements.  It is often wise to contact a lawyer as soon as possible for help because of the very serious consequences associated with being a registered sex offender.

When Are You Required to Register as a Sex Offender?

The District of Columbia Code establishes the requirements for sex offender registration in Title 22, Chapter 40. Under this law, you are required to register as a sex offender if you were:

  • Convicted of a registration offense or found not guilty of a registration offense by reason of insanity. Registration offenses include, but are not limited to, first- or second-degree sexual assault; first-degree child sexual abuse; murder or manslaughter committed as part of rape or attempted rape; and various lewd acts with a minor.
  • Classified as a sexual psychopath. A sexual psychopath is defined in D.C. Code 22-3803  as a sane person who has demonstrated a dangerous lack of ability to control sexual impulses. This dangerous lack of control must be likely to cause undesirable consequences including injury or pain to others.

When you have been accused of a sex offense, your criminal defense attorney will explain whether a potential conviction will result in your inclusion on the DC sex offender registry.

Obligations of Registered Sex Offenders

If you are required to be listed on the DC sex offender registry, you have certain obligations. D.C. Code 22-4014 mandates that you:

  • Register as a sex offender, have your photograph taken, and provide your fingerprints and any other information necessary for registration. Collected information includes your name; date of birth; race; sex; a physical description including identifying marks; and your home, employment, and school address.
  • Report any changes in registration information, including a change of address, within 72 hours.
  • Meet with responsible officials as required by Title 22, chapter 40.

The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA) has been responsible for registering and overseeing adults deemed to be sex offenders since October 1, 2000. CSOSA identifies and notifies those who are required to register and informs, people of penalties for noncompliance.

CSOSA has a special Sex Offender Unit (SOU) that supervises people who have been released on probation, parole, or supervised release. Those who have been assigned to SOU have to undergo an initial psychological screening and may be required to attend weekly group or individual sessions for anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Indefinite aftercare may also be required. Some people placed under close SOU supervision will also be required to use GPS tracking devices, undergo polygraph tests, and have their computers monitored.

Getting Legal Help with the DC Sex Offender Registry

Required registration on the DC sex offender registry is one of the most serious consequences associated with any criminal conviction, because of the far-reaching impact that registration has on your life.

You should strongly consider contacting a sex crimes lawyer to try to help you avoid being convicted of a crime that requires registration. Your attorney can also help you to comply with registration obligations and defend you if you have been accused of violating the requirements of registration. Get in touch with an attorney today for help with all of your legal issues related to the DC sex offender registry.