Washington DC Sex Offender Registry

Like every state, the city of Washington DC maintains a sex offender registry, which provides the public with information about individuals living, working, or going to school in the state who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses. You may remain on the Washington DC sex offender registry for 10 years or for life, depending on the nature of your underlying offense. Making this information so easily accessible to the public can have a significant effect on your everyday life.

Placement on the registry can subject you to many different restrictions on your residence, workplace, and school attendance. Your neighbors may receive notification of your status and you may be subject to constant community supervision. You may even be unable to attend programs or volunteer at your own child’s school due to your placement on the Washington DC sex offender registry.

The collateral consequences of pleading guilty to or being convicted of a sexual criminal offense in Washington DC are substantial. One of the only ways to prevent these consequences may be to avoid a criminal conviction in the first place or at least enter into a plea bargain for a lesser charge that may not include mandatory registration. This is a situation in which a sex crimes attorney could be of great assistance to you.

When Sex Offender Registration is Required

DC Code §22-4001(8) mandates that individuals register with the Washington DC sex offender registry if they are convicted of a registration offense or found not guilty of that offense by reason of insanity. Some offenses that DC law classifies as registration offenses include:

  • First or second-degree sexual assault
  • First-degree child sexual abuse
  • Rape or attempted rape 
  • Various lewd acts involving a minor

Individuals classified as sexual psychopaths under DC Code §22-3803 also have mandatory registration requirements. The registry also may include individuals convicted of similar offenses in other states, but who now live, work, and/or go to school in Washington DC.

How Long Sex Offender Registration is Required

Some sexual offenses under DC Code §22-4001(8) require lifetime registration. This means that no matter where offenders move, work, or go to school, they must meet the registration requirements of that state. Other sexually-based offenses do not require lifetime registration.

Some individuals who are convicted of these offenses no longer have to register after serving their full terms of probation, parole, supervised or conditional release, or convalescent leave.

However, individuals designated as sex offenders must register for a period of 10 years after they are placed on probation, parole, supervised or conditional release, or convalescent leave, or after they are unconditionally released from a correctional facility, prison, hospital, or another place of confinement, whichever is later.

Sex Offender Registration Requirements

DC Code §22-4014 requires all individuals on the Washington DC sex offender registry to have photographs taken, submit a set of fingerprints, and provide any other required information that is necessary for registration.

Other information includes, but is not limited to, individuals’ names, date of birth, race, sex, physical description, identifying marks, and addresses for home, employers, and school. Registrants also must meet with responsible officials periodically and report any changes in their information listed above within 72 hours.

Some registrants who have been placed on close community supervision may have to comply with additional requirements, such as attending counseling and wearing a GPS tracking device. Failure to abide by these requirements can constitute noncompliance that exposes registrants to additional penalties.

Defending Against Sexual Offense Convictions

Given the substantial restrictions placed on your everyday life by mandated registration on the Washington DC sex offender registry, you should take every step necessary to avoid being placed on the registry. The first step is to contact a seasoned and dedicated criminal defense attorney who could fight for you. While results always will vary from case to case, you always put yourself in a better position to fight back against sexual offense charges by enlisting the assistance of an experienced lawyer.