Ohio Sex Offender Laws

Columbus Sex Offender Registration Lawyers

Helping defendants fight sex crime charges to avoid the sex registry requirement

All crimes have serious consequences. If convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you may be facing months or years in prison and large fines. You could lose your right to own a firearm. Finding a job or employment will be difficult. If you are convicted of a sex crime, the consequences are harsher. A conviction of most sex crimes in Ohio requires that the person convicted register as a sex offender – possibly for a lifetime.

At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our sex crime defense lawyers fight aggressively to preserve your freedom and your reputation. Our lawyers have a strong record of success obtaining not guilty verdicts and dismissals in sex crime cases. We work to negotiate with prosecutors to enter into a plea agreements that do not require sex registration. If you are convicted of a sex crime, we explain your rights and obligations regarding sex offender registration.

What types of sex crimes require sex offender registration in Ohio?

The laws for sexual predators, habitual sex offenders, and sexually oriented offenders are set forth in the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2950.

There are three classification levels for sex offenders in Ohio. Tier I is the least serious and Tier III is the most serious.

  • Tier I. This classification generally includes all sex crimes not listed in the other tiers. Tier I sex crimes include sexual imposition, importuning, voyeurism, stalking with sexual motivation, sexual conduct with a minor, and promoting prostitution. If you’re convicted of a crime in this Tier category, you must register every year for 15 years. The time can be shortened if certain conditions are met, such as completing probation/parole, completion of a sex offender treatment program, and no further felony or sex crime offenses.
  • Tier II. This classification includes gross sexual imposition (where the victim is under 13 years of age), compelling prostitution, child endangerment, any sex crime offenses if a person previous Tier I convictions, and various sex crimes involving minors. Anyone convicted of a Tier II sex offense must register every 180 days for 25 years. Unlike Tier I offenses, there is no process for early termination of a Tier II (or Tier III) offense.
  • Tier III. This classification includes rape, sexual battery, felonious assault with sexual motivation, different types of felonies (kidnapping, murder, and aggravated murder) with sexual motivation, and the unlawful death or end of a pregnancy due to committing or attempting to commit a felony with sexual motivation. If you’re convicted of a Tier III sex crime, you must register every 90 days. Residents who live within 1,000 feet of a sex offender have the right to a community notification of the offense and residence of the offender.

How do you register as a sex offender in Ohio?

If you are convicted or plead guilty to an offense, you have a legal duty to register as a sex offender. You must include your home, workplace, and school address. As mentioned, you must also report any changes. You must notify the sheriff in the county where you live, work, or attend school after being released from a jail, or prison; or were sentenced without incarceration if you move to another state or have relocated to Ohio.

What are important details about the Ohio sex offender registry?

No sex offender in any tier can live within 1,000 feet of a school or a daycare center.

If your home, work, or school address changes, you must change your registration to reflect the move. The changes need to be provided to the county sheriff within 20 days before moving or changing schools, and no later than three days after changing jobs. This means, for example, that if you work or attend school in another state, you must also register as a sex offender in that state by contacting the sheriff in the county where the job or school is located.

Ohio has a state registry of sex offenders designed to comply with federal laws.

Those who fail to comply with the registration requirements can be charged with a criminal offense. The severity of a “failure to register” penalty is generally determined by the severity of the original sex crime and other factors.

If you don’t have a permanent address, you must still notify the sheriff about where you intend to stay until you can secure a permanent home. You must also provide your name and known aliases, Social Security Number, date of birth, and driver’s license number in addition to your address.

Who runs the Ohio sex offender registry?

According to Ohio State Records, the registry is managed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), a division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Information from all of Ohio’s 88 counties is in the registry, and it is continually maintained and updated.

What is Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law (SORN Law)?

The SORN Law is a group of laws that:

Creates levels according to crime categories, mandates sex offender registration, prescribes jail terms, and specifies penalties for offenders who do not keep up with registration requirements. The SORN Law also ensures that all sheriff’s offices create and maintain public records of registered sex offenders. The information on these records is used to notify victims and related institutions in the community whenever a sex offender registers nearby.

The Tier system of classifying sex offenders is from the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, signed into law in July, 2006. It was named after six-year-old Adam Walsh, who was kidnapped from a department store in Florida and found dead more than two weeks later.  In 2007, Ohio adopted the standards provided by the Adam Walsh Act and repealed its version of the previously implemented Megan’s Law. Provisions obtainable under Megan’s Law were widely debated in Ohio, leading to its revocation. For instance, Ohio’s version of Megan’s Law did not require convicted juveniles to register as sex offenders.

Do you have a sex offender registration lawyer near me?

Our Columbus office is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re located near I-71 and Rt. 23. We meet clients charged with or convicted for a sex crime at our offices, at home, or in detention facilities if necessary.

Contact an experienced Columbus sex offender registry lawyer

Get help now. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, the only way to avoid having to register is to have the charges dismissed, obtain an acquittal, or negotiate the charge to a non-sex crime. If you have been charged with a sex crime, our Columbus sex offender registration lawyers will explain what steps you need to take to comply with the law and what your rights are. We also represent clients charged with failing to properly register with the local sheriffs. Call Soroka & Associates at 614-918-4078 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.