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New state law restricts where certain sex offenders can live

When a person is convicted of a sex offense, they can lose many different freedoms they may have thought they would always have. One is the freedom to live wherever they choose. As we've discussed in previous posts, individuals who have received sex crime convictions can face various restrictions regarding where they can reside.

Recently, a new law was signed into being here in Wisconsin that creates some state-wide residency restrictions for certain types of sex offenders. As a note, local governments generally are allowed, under the new law, to continue enforcing additional restrictions they put in place through local ordinances.

There are three types of individuals the new state law puts restrictions on:

  • Individuals found to have perpetrated a sex crime against a disabled or elderly person. Such individuals are prohibited from residing within 1,500 feet of nursing homes/assisted living facilities under the new law. 
  • Individuals found to have committed sex crimes against children. The new law bans such individuals from residing next door to a child. 
  • Individuals found to have perpetrated a violent sex offense. Under the new law, such persons are not allowed to reside within 1,500 feet of a public park, church, youth center, day care or school. 

As these new state-wide sex offender residency restrictions underscore, what exact things a person could end up facing in connection to being accused of a sex crime depends on the exact nature of the sex crime they are accused of. Criminal defense attorneys can provide individuals facing sex crime allegations with assessments of what specifically could be at stake for them in their case (given the various details of their case, including the specifics of the allegations against them) and with guidance on what defense approaches to take in their case.

Source: WKOW, "Gov. Walker signs sex offender placement bill," Feb. 29, 2016

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