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Addressing the Problem with Utah’s Sex Offender Registry

Like most states, the state of Utah has a sex offender registry. While the original goal of this registry was to protect the public from those who have been convicted of sex crimes, the registry might be doing more harm than good. In many cases, people who are placed on Utah’s sex offenders list are being given punishments that do not fit the crime. Even worse, getting off of this registry can be even more challenging.

For example, some people who are placed on this registry have been convicted of public urination, which is hardly a sexually-related offense. In many cases, public urination is a product of too much drinking and has nothing to do with lewd behavior. Even so, people placed on the sex offender list on the state of Utah are on it for ten years. Some might be on it for life.

Striking a Balance Is Key

According to state legislators, there should be a way for someone people to be removed from the registry. According to state Sen. Todd Weiler, if someone on the list should be able to come off of the list if they can check certain boxes such as:

  • Receiving counseling for what they have done
  • Completing community service
  • Staying out of trouble

It is important to note that the senator does not believe that violent rapists should be able to come off of the list because the public has a right to know what those individuals have done. On the other hand, those with lesser offenses, such as the public urination example above, should be able to come off of the list or stay off of it altogether.

New Tools Are Available

Many people are questioning how someone can differentiate between those who are a permanent danger and those who have been rehabilitated. There are obviously extremes on both ends of the spectrum, but what about those in the middle?

According to the senator, we now have the tools. The courts have risk assessments that they can recommend or perform themselves. Then, lawyers and judges can decide who should be placed on the registry permanently, who should be removed after checking certain boxes and who should stay off of the registry altogether.

The senator points out that there are relationships that used to land people in jail but, today, are not criminalized. He points out an example involving a college student and a high school student. In many states, these are called “Romeo and Juliet” laws. Even though this relationship is legal, there are cases where a middle-aged man who is married with children who cannot go to a state park because he is on the sex offender registry for public urination which happened ten years ago. That is not right.

Rely on a Sex Offense Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

If you have been charged with a sex crime in the state of Utah, then you need the help of a sex crime lawyer. At Wasatch Defense Lawyers, we are sex crime defense lawyers. We will work vigorously to defend your rights, keep you out of jail, and keep you off of the registry. Contact us today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

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Craig R. Chlarson