Megan’s Law is a federal law requiring sex offenders to register with specific agencies. Many states also adopted similar laws, often collectively referred to as “Megan’s Law,” even if they have individual names.
You can learn more about Megan’s Law and other requirements for sex offenders in Pennsylvania by reaching out to our team at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Call us or complete our online contact form to get additional information.
Megan’s Law Is a Federal Law
Megan’s Law originated as federal law (Public Law 104-145). The federal government first established the law in 1996 and has maintained and updated it over the years. The law requires sex offenders to register with agencies like the National Sex Offender Registry.
Under the law, individuals have to report their address and additional information. Individuals on the sex offender registry must update their information each time they move.
What Led to Megan’s Law?
The government established Megan’s Law after Megan Nicole Kanka’s murder in 1994. Megan was abducted, assaulted, and killed by a previously convicted violent offender who lived across the street from her family.
Prior to the implementation of Megan’s Law, there was no tool to provide information to families regarding the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders. The law was designed to provide families with increased protection and security for their children.
Does Pennsylvania Follow Megan’s Law?
Pennsylvania has a state-level version of Megan’s Law. The State Police maintain and administer the list containing information about sex offenders in Pennsylvania. Residents of the state can look up information regarding offenders on the state’s Megan’s Law website.
What Information does the Megan’s Law Website Contain?
Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law website provides information about both sexually violent predators and sex offenders. Individuals visiting the website can find details about a person’s:
- Name and any known aliases
- Physical address and school address
- Employment location
- Photography and physical description
- License plate details and vehicle information
- Description of the individual’s offense
- Date of conviction
Individuals in the community may contact police officers if they want additional information about possible sex offenders in their area.
Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender Under Megan’s Law?
The requirements for registering as a sex offender can vary by state. In Pennsylvania, you must register as a sex offender after a conviction for any of the following crimes:
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent assault
- Institutional sexual assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Sexual assault
The state also requires you to register as a sex offender for committing certain crimes involving minors, including:
- Kidnapping a minor
- Luring a child into a motor vehicle
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Unlawful contact with a minor
Furthermore, any attempt to commit the above offenses can lead to a requirement to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania.
How Long do Individuals Remain on Megan’s Law Website?
The length of time individuals must remain on the sex offender registration varies based on their conviction. In some cases, individuals only remain on the list for ten years. However, for more severe crimes, individuals must stay registered for the rest of their lives.
What Happens if You do Not Register as a Sex Offender?
Failure to register as a sex offender represents a serious criminal act in Pennsylvania. Taking this action can lead to prosecution and a conviction, resulting in fines and jail time. Therefore, it’s very important that anyone convicted of an applicable crime properly registers.
While many people worry about the impact appearing on the sex offender registry can have on their life, failing to follow the orders of the court can have more serious repercussions.
Can You Avoid Ending Up on the Megan’s Law Website?
Registry as a sex offender and an appearance on the Megan’s Law website often becomes necessary after a conviction for a sex crime. Therefore, you may avoid these serious repercussions by getting professional help dealing with sex crime allegations.
Sex crimes lawyers in Pennsylvania can step in to help build a defense if you are accused of acts of sexual assault, including rape or abuse of a minor. Facing these charges head-on may allow a lawyer to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
Your lawyer may also represent you in court. Getting help quickly allows a legal team to develop a defense designed to meet your needs. You may also contact a lawyer if you are accused of failure to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania.
Speak to Us About Megan’s Law in Pennsylvania
Megan’s Law requires sex offenders to register their information with different agencies. Failure to follow these regulations can have serious legal consequences here in Pennsylvania. At the same time, having to register due to a conviction also has its consequences. Our criminal defense lawyers can help build your defense if you face sex crime charges.
You can learn more about these laws with our team at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Call or fill out our online contact form to learn more.