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Romeo and Juliet Laws

Cobb County Sex Offender Registry Removal

Ben is a Cobb County Sex Offender Registry Release Lawyer who has helped numerous people get removed from the registry in Cobb County. A large percentage of the general public is unaware of how broad the sex offender registry was in the past. When someone discovers that a registered offender lives in their neighborhood and was convicted of child molestation or statutory rape, that person will usually assume the worst about the offender. In truth, however, there are lots of individuals on the sex offender registry in Georgia that were convicted of crimes long ago that are now treated as misdemeanors. This is one class of registered offenders that is eligible to petition for removal from the registry. If you believe you are in this class, contact a Georgia Sex Offender Registry Removal Lawyer today. 

Romeo and Juliet Cases

Just over 10 years ago, several high profile cases in Georgia highlighted a problem: teenagers engaging in consensual sexual activity were being prosecuted as sex offenders, sent to prison for decades and required to register as sex offenders for life. In response, the Georgia legislature made some substantial changes in this area of the law.

Specifically, laws were passed so that, depending on the ages of the defendant and the alleged victim, certain crimes previously deemed felonies would then be prosecuted as misdemeanors. Under Georgia law, misdemeanor convictions do not require registration. The change applies to the offenses of statutory rape, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated sodomy. If the defendant is no older than 18, the victim is no younger than 14, and there exists no more than a four year gap in age between the two, those offenses can only be prosecuted as misdemeanors. This is significant because, in addition to there being no registration requirement for misdemeanor convictions, each of the felony variety of the charges listed above carries potential punishments of decades in prison.

How Does this Affect People Convicted Under the Old Law?

Unfortunately, the change was not made to apply retroactively. Thus, if you were convicted of what was then a felony and is now a misdemeanor, you will not get the benefit of the change. The good news is that the change does make a difference for those who want to petition for removal from the registry, even if they are still on probation for the offense that requires registration in the first place.

Just like other classes of registered offenders who are eligible to petition for release from the registry, being eligible does not mean you will automatically be released. The six criteria of O.C.G.A. 17-10-6.2(c)(1)(A)-(F) must still be met. You also must prove that you are not a substantial risk to commit future offenses. 

Many judges will happily remove from the registry someone who was convicted of statutory rape at the age of 17 for having sex with a 15-year-old, and most of the general public believe that that person never should been on the registry in the first place. But, if you are eligible to petition under this provision, you will still need a lawyer to help you navigate the potential pitfalls and to show the judge that all of the criteria have been met.

Contact a Cobb County Sex Offender Registry Removal Lawyer today at 404-985-9772 to discuss your eligibility for removal from the sex offender registry.

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