Our county sheriff is out grandstanding about getting tough on sex offenders. He says he wants to see every one of us either dead or behind bars! I’m both angry, and terrified. What can I do?

Certainly the fact that an elected official is out grandstanding is disappointing. However, grandstanding about sex offenders is not uncommon for an elected official, and the sheriff is entitled to his/her misguided views. This is precisely why educating our elected officials is so crucial. A sheriff of all people should already know that there are many people listed on registries…

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I am terrified to leave my home. It seems that everyone must know about my registry status. I gave up trying to get work several years ago because nobody would hire me. What can I do?

First, understand that you are not alone. Call the Hotline if you need to talk to someone who understands. The next step is to take action! Check on this web site to find an advocacy group in your state and contact them. Try to attend a meeting if this is practical. Or, join a forum such as SOSEN’s. Become part…

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I know my picture is on the registry for all to see, but what about the many other sites out there that “borrow” my registry listing and add lots of incorrect information, and deliberately make me look like a world-class creep?

There is no good answer to this question, because there is no case law out there that offers guidance. These private listing sites think it’s okay to call all registrants predators, pedophiles, or child molesters. We disagree – but until there is a successful lawsuit that is upheld on appeal, they probably will not stop. Unfortunately, an attorney would hesitate…

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I am receiving letters from someone who is threatening harm to me, calling me a pervert and worse. He has also posted signs all around my block ‘warning’ people about me. Should I call the police?

Many states have language in their registry laws that prohibit such conduct, and provide for both civil and criminal penalties. If you can prove that a particular person is engaging in such behavior, you should certainly file a complaint. Filing a police report provides documentation of the harassment which you might later need in court. However, do not expect a…

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My husband has come home on probation. He has no restrictions that prohibit him from being around children, but Protective Services comes around weekly, telling me I have to submit to a home inspection or else they will take away my children by a prior marriage, and put them in foster care. Can they really do that?

It is possible that they can – but in most jurisdictions the standard for removal of children is that Protective Services must be able to prove that the child is suffering some form of abuse or neglect. Simply having a registrant in the household would not meet that standard in and of itself. However, that might not stop Protective Services…

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My parole officer is telling me I have to show up in her office within the hour, or she’s going to violate me. Problem is, I’m at work and need more time to arrange transportation. Can she really violate me for that?

The short answer is that there is not much you can do once such a directive has been issued. However, you can take steps to make such a difficult request less likely in the first place. Provide your supervising officer with a current copy of your work schedule. Make sure that you can prove you have given it to him/her!…

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I am on probation, and officers are showing up at my home late at night, pounding on my door, scaring my spouse and kids, and doing a commando-style search of my home. Is that legal?

As a general rule, your probation/parole officer has the right to visit and enter your home with no notice. However, there may be departmental policies or case law in your state that limits their visits to reasonable hours. If your state’s probation/parole supervision policies are on the Internet, you can check there for specifics.

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Registry officers have come to my door, along with US Marshalls, and asked to inspect my home. I am no longer under probation/ parole supervision! Can I tell them “no?”

Absolutely you can tell them no, but only if you’ve completed all supervision. In order to enter a non-supervised person’s home, a law enforcement officer needs either a warrant, or the person’s permission. Remember, though, that your housemate or a family member might unknowingly open the door and invite them in. At that point, arguably they have been granted permission…

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I had to manage my mother’s funeral and was late registering. Now they’ve charged me with a new felony offense and tell me could spend up to five years in jail or on probation. What should I do? Is there any way out of this?

As a general rule, you should always have competent legal counsel when facing criminal charges. Maybe you will get a reasonable prosecutor who will consider the circumstances and choose not to proceed. Even if you are formally charged with and convicted of a registry violation, however, most courts do not impose the maximum sentence, and at the state level often…

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