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Ohio’s Sexual Offender Registration Requirements

Wolfe Law Group, LLC June 8, 2022

Being accused and charged with any crime is a stressful experience—but individuals who are facing sex crime allegations have a specific set of worries. Because the law requires those convicted of these crimes to register as sex offenders, these people face a future with significant social stigma. According to the state’s attorney general, there are currently 19,335 registered sex offenders in the state of Ohio, and each of them must now live with the consequences of their actions. If you’ve been charged with a sexual offense and need to speak with a criminal defense attorney about what you can expect in the coming months, reach out to the Wolfe Law Group, LLC in Columbus, Ohio. Your rights deserve to be upheld.

Sexual Offender Classifications 

If you’re found to be guilty of a criminal offense in Ohio, you may be classified as a sex offender or a child-victim offender. For each of these classifications, you will then have to comply with the state’s sex offender registration and notification (SORN) laws. The first category is “sex offender,” which is the most common type. This category is reserved for most sexual offenses such as rape, sexual battery, or other charges that have a sexual nature. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of one of these crimes, you will be automatically included in this classification. 

The second category is “child-victim offender.” This category is for anyone who has committed a crime against a child (and in Ohio, this is considered someone under the age of 18)—even of a non-sexual nature. This can cover crimes like kidnapping and abduction, and includes conspiring with or being complicit with someone else who commits these crimes. 

Registration Requirements for Each Tier 

From here, you will then be classified further into one of three tiers, and each tier will have its own criteria that you’ll have to follow. The specific circumstances of your case will be used in determining each tier's registration requirements.

Tier I offenders must register as a sexual offender every 12 months for a period of 15 years. However, if you do not have any repeat sexual offenses, this time may be dropped to 10 years. The sex crimes for Tier 1 are generally considered the mildest and include charges like voyeurism, sexual imposition, and importuning. 

Tier II offenders have to register every 180 days for 25 years; however, for juvenile offenders, the requirements will be slightly different. Some charges that fall under Tier II are compelling prostituion, child endangering, kidnapping or abduction with a sexual motivation, or pandering obscenity involving a minor.

Tier III is the most serious and requires offenders to register every 90 days for the rest of their lives. If you are a juvenile in Tier III, you must register every three months with the sheriff’s office for at least the next 25 years if you do not re-offend. Crimes that fall under Tier III are rape, sexual battery, murder and aggravated murder with sexual motivation, and felonious assault with a sexual motivation. 

Requirements for Notifying the Community 

The circumstances of each tier require different levels of community notification. If you are a Tier III offender or someone deemed a sexual predator, any neighbors within 1,000 feet of your residence will be notified if you move into their neighborhood. Other community partners such as schools, daycares, and colleges may also be notified even if they are outside of the 1,000-foot area. Additionally, any time you move or take on a new job, you must communicate your status.

Seek Reliable Representation Today 

If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio area and are concerned about how the state’s sexual offender registration will affect you, call the Wolfe Law Group, LLC today. Their attorneys are able to serve clients in all surrounding counties including Licking, Newark, Heath, Granville, Fairfield, Lancaster, Pickerington, Delaware, the City of Delaware, Louis Center, and Powell.