One of the first questions that a person who is accused of a sex offense usually asks is “Will I have to register as a sex offender if I’m convicted?” Under the Jacob Wetterling Act, and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, all states must construct registries of offenders convicted of sexually violent offenses or offenses against children, and must design and implement registration requirements for sex offenders.
In Mississippi, you must register as a sex offender if:
- you have been convicted of any sex offense or attempted sex offense, or
- acquitted by reason of insanity for any sex offense or attempted sex offense, or
- adjudicated delinquent for any sex offense or attempted sex offense, must register as a sex offender.
Miss. Code Ann § 45-33-23(g). This includes juveniles older than 14 that are convicted of certain offenses, temporary residents of Mississippi, nonresident workers, part-time students in Mississippi, and military personnel in the state.
The crimes in Mississippi that, by their definition, require registration as a sex offender are:
- § 97-3-53 Kidnapping, if the victim was below the age of eighteen (18)
- § 97-3-65 Statutory rape
- § 97-3-71 Rape and assault with intent to ravish
- § 97-3-95 Sexual battery
- § 97-5-5 Enticing a child for concealment, prostitution or marriage
- § 97-5-23 Touching of a child, or a mentally defective, incapacitated or physically helpless person for lustful purposes
- § 97-5-27 Dissemination of sexually oriented material to children; computer luring of minor to engage in sexual conduct
- § 97-5-33 Exploitation of a child
- § 97-5-41 Carnal knowledge of a stepchild, adopted child or child of a cohabiting partner
- § 97-29-59 Unnatural intercourse
- § 97-1-7 Attempt to commit any of the above-referenced offenses
- § 97-29-3 Adultery or fornication between teacher and pupil
- § 43-47-18 relating to sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult
- § 97-3-54.1 (1)(c) Procuring sexual servitude of a minor
- § 97-29-63 Filming another without permission where there is an expectation of privacy
- Any offense committed in another jurisdiction, which would be considered one of the above in Mississippi
- Any offense committed in another jurisdiction for which registration is required in that jurisdiction
- Any conviction of conspiracy to commit, accessory to commission, or attempt to commit any offense listed in the statute
Miss. Code Ann. § 45-33-25(g). The registration process is relatively straightforward, requiring (1) the offender report to a registering agency (county sheriff’s office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, etc.) and complete the registation forms, be photographed, fingerprinted, and submit a DNA sample, and (2) presenting these documents to a local Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver’s License station with a $5.00 fee. There are certain time limits that must be observed when registering, and it is a felony (up to 5 years, $5000.00 fine) to fail to comply with any of the registration requirements.
If you have been accused of one of the sex crimes above, you are right to be concerned about registration requirements. It will certainly affect your ability to find a job, or even a place to live. You won’t likely be accepted into most colleges or other education programs, and your privacy will be affected forever. You need to know your rights prior to making any big decisions if you are charged with a sex crime. Give me a call and I will explain them to you.
UPDATE: These laws were updated on July 1, 2011. Please see this post for further details: New Updates to Mississippi’s Sex Offender Registration Law.