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Juvenile Sex Offenders Among Us?

When minors are judged to be in violation of any offense, they should be held liable for their actions and given a developmentally appropriate penalty that factors in what parents already know- children are developmentally immature and are clearly capable of changing. In fact, research indicates that teens who are adjudicated delinquent with respect to sex offenses, are not typically repeat offenders.

One recent study indicated that less than 2% of all individuals who committed a sex offense as a juvenile committed another such offense. Legal requirements that youth be listed on sex offender registries-often for life-ignore this research.

In 2006, Congress enacted the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Title I of the Act, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), subjects many juveniles judged delinquent to the same registration requirements as convicted adult sex offenders. While SORNA requires registration of children 14 and older, most states have their own additional registration requirements. Children as young as eight may be required to register as sex offenders for crimes ranging from the extremely grievous, such as rape, to more minor misconduct such as consensual sex, public nudity, and public urination.

In California, however, juvenile sex offenders don't show up on Megan's Law website.

Children who register as sex offenders must:

  • Provide extensive personal information to state police
  • Verify this information, often in-person, on a regular basis for the duration of their registration requirement, and
  • Regularly report changes in their appearance, residence, employment, and other habits, with failure to report such changes a new crime, often leading to mandatory incarceration.

Being forced to register as a sex offender is a very serious consequence. As such, it is important to discuss your child's case with an experienced Oakland sex crime attorney immediately. Your child's future depends on how aggressively you defend against these serious allegations.

Accused of a sex crime? You need counsel from an Oakland sex crime lawyer you can trust. Call the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed now.

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