Although it might not sound like a big deal, failing to register as a sex offender can get you serious time, if convicted. In Mississippi, failing to register, reregister or comply with electronic monitoring in association with a sex crime is a felony. This means you could facing more than a year in prison, extensive fines and additional life-impacting penalties. Since registering as a sex offender can also severely impact your quality of life, ability o get a job, rent a house and a variety of other important things, it may be tempting to try to avoid. After all, you’ve done your time, and you’re ready to move on with your life. Fewer crimes are taken as seriously as sexual crimes, and the stigma can last a lifetime, especially when you have to announce, register and let everybody know, everywhere you go.Registering and Reregistering
An important thing to understand about registering as a sex offender is that it doesn’t happen just the one time. Plan on registering and reregistering in a variety of different locations, places and forms. You might also have to comply with electronic monitoring for a period of time. The whole sex-offender registry thing isn’t a one time deal. It’s something that you live with and continue to do on a fairly regular basis. You let your employer know, your neighbors know, your volunteer organizations know. Anytime you begin just about any type of new business, financial or other type of relationship, you start out with registering or informing the other party of your prior conviction.Changing Your Address
Registering when you change addresses is absolutely essential. If you move, even if it’s just to a new neighborhood across town, you need to reregister. Law enforcement needs to know where you currently reside, and failing to register after moving can be a serious felony violation. If you’ve moved to a new state, you need to register. If you’ve moved to a new city, you need to register. If you’re just staying with a family member or a friend for a short period of time, you need to register. Don’t get slapped with a felony charge, just because you had a temporary living arrangement change.What About New Employment?
It’s also essential to let new employers know about your status as a sex offender. Unfortunately, this could keep you from getting a job at some locations. It’s essential to understand that properly informing your employer about your registry status is like covering your bases. If sex offenders aren’t permitted to work in a certain environment or job location, it’s better to find out up front, than to potentially have additional charges added to your case after the fact.Penalties of Failing to Register
In Mississippi, failing to register is usually considered a felony and can be punished by a fine and up to five years in jail. The fine can be up to $5,000. A felony conviction, on top of what was probably a prior felony conviction for a sex crime, can also be extremely damaging to your life, reputation, freedom and future. If you’re facing a charge for failing to register, you need to speak with a skilled and proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case.The Stigma of a Sex Crime
Registering and reregistering is one of the worst and most humiliating parts of being convicted of any type of sex crime. There is such a stigma around sexual offenders. This isn’t the type of crime that you do the time for and move on with your life. You essentially live with the consequences of a sex crime for life. Although it’s tough to continue registering everywhere you go, when you just really want to move on with your life, you need to do it. If for some reason, under some technicality or other issue, you get slapped with a failing to register charge, contact an attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your defense. It’s a felony charge, and you could do hard time, if convicted.When to Call a Criminal Defense Attorney in Jackson
If you’re facing a charge of failing to register or comply with electronic monitoring after a sex crime conviction, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. In many cases, these are simple administrative errors or misunderstandings. Don’t let an error or mistake land you in prison for up to five years. You attorney can stay on top of any case developments and be your advocate during this time. Contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate case consultation.