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The consequences of sex offender registration in Wisconsin

The thought of being placed on a sex offender registry can be a truly frightening one. The registry is available as a searchable online database for anyone to see. A person who is required to register as a sex offender can lose employment and housing opportunities. They also face the potential shame of everyone knowing about their crime.

People convicted of sex crimes must report their address annually to authorities once they are released from prison. Many neighborhoods in Wisconsin keep a close eye on the registry and make their residents aware of convicted sex offenders living in their area.

As the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry website notes, most people convicted of sex crimes return to the area where they lived prior to being incarcerated, while others move to another area because of family ties, a job opportunity or better treatment facilities.

While anyone can search the Sex Offender Registry, as the website explains, there are different levels of notification that go out when someone convicted of a sex crime is released from prison. When a Level 1 offender is released, only law enforcement is notified. When a Level 2 offender gets out of prison, specific groups and individuals may be notified, depending upon the circumstances of the case. For Level 3 offenders, a community-wide notification is made via meetings and the media. It is essential to know, however, that it is illegal for people to misuse the Sex Offender Registry "for personal, unlawful, or vigilante purposes."

Being charged with a sex crime can have a serious impact on a person for the rest of his or her life. It is essential to have sound legal advice and to work to avoid conviction or at least minimize the consequences to your future. Our website provides some information on sex offender registration in Wisconsin.

Source: Kohn Smith Ross, "Sex Offender Registration in Wisconsin -- Milwaukee Attorneys" Aug. 14, 2014

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