Sex-related crimes are often taken much more seriously than other types of crimes in Ohio. Like all states, Ohio law requires that everyone convicted of certain sex crimes is listed on a sex offender registry.
If you are convicted of a crime that qualifies, you will be required to continually provide certain information to your sheriff’s office about your everyday life. Depending on the type of crime you are convicted of, these registration and notification requirements may last between 15 years and life.
So what are the details of sex offender registration in Ohio? And what can you do to avoid being placed on the registry? From experienced defense attorney Max Hiltner, here’s what you need to know.
Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration & Notification Law
In Ohio, the Sex Offender Registration & Notification Law (SORN), governed by Chapter 2950 of the Revised Code, is an offense-based registry system.
In other states, the sex offender registry operates under a risk-based system, which takes into account the circumstances of an individual’s conviction, and the risk that they pose to the community. There has been some debate about switching to a risk-based system in Ohio, which would allow more opportunities for judicial discretion.
The Ohio state government maintains, in cooperation with local sheriff and police departments, an online searchable database known as eSORN. If you are on the registry, this means that any citizen in your community can run a background check and find your name on this database.
However, there are different registration and notification requirements depending on which tier your offense falls under.
Ohio’s sex offender registry tier system
Ohio law classifies all sex offenses on the registry into three tiers, in increasing order of severity:
- Tier 1
- Importuning [ORC 2907.07]
- Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor (unless the act is consensual) [ORC 2907.04 (B)(2)]
- Voyeurism against a Minor [ORC 2907.08 (C ) & (D)]
- Sexual Imposition [ORC 2907.06]
- Gross Sexual Imposition [ORC 2907.05 (A)(1)-(3) (5)]
- Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-oriented Material or Performance [ORC 2907.323 (A)(3)]
- Voyeurism [ORC 2907.08 (A)(B) & (E)]
- Child Enticement with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2905.05]
- Tier 2
- Compelling Prostitution [ORC 2907.21]
- Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor [ORC 2907.321]
- Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving a Minor [ORC 2907.322]
- Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-oriented Material or Performance [ORC 2907.323 (A)(1) & (2)]
- Child Endangering [ORC 2919.22 (B)(5)]
- Kidnapping with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2905.01 (A)(1)(3)(5)]
- Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor [ORC 2907.04 (B)(1)(3)(4)]
- Any Sexual Offense that occurs after the offender has been classified as a Tier I sex offender.
- Tier 3
- Rape [ORC 2907.02]
- Sexual Battery [ORC 2907.03]
- Aggravated Murder with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2903.01]
- Murder with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2903.02]
- Unlawful Death or Termination of Pregnancy As A Result of Committing or Attempting to Commit a Felony with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2903.04]
- Kidnapping of Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity [ORC 2905.01(A)(4)]
- Kidnapping of Minor, Not By a Parent [ORC 2905.01(B)]
- Gross Sexual Imposition with a Child Under 13 [ORC 2907.05 (A)(4)]
- Felonious Assault with Sexual Motivation [ORC 2903.11]
- Any Sexual Offense that occurs after the offender has been classified as a Tier II sex offender
The length of time you have to remain on the registry, and the frequency of your registration, depends on which tier you fall under:
- Tier 1 offenders are required to register once a year for 15 years
- Tier 2 offenders are required to register every 180 days for 25 years
- Tier 3 offenders are required to register every 90 days for life
Sex registration and notification requirements in Ohio
When an individual is first placed on the registry, they are required to register with the county and provide basic information like their name, photos, and fingerprints.
In addition, everyone on the registry is required to update their local sheriff’s department with any changes in the following:
- Residential address
- Place of employment
- Vehicle identification
- Enrollment in a school or higher education
- Membership in any organization
- Phone number
- Social media accounts
Anyone on the registry can be looked up by someone in the community, and anyone on the registry is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare center.
However, only registrants in Tier 3 are required to notify their community. Whenever someone initially registers under Tier 3, or anytime a Tier 3 offender moves to a new address, all neighbors within a 1,250-foot radius will be notified by the e-SORN system.
Contact an Ohio criminal defense attorney today
If you’re facing criminal charges for a sex-related offense, you may be feeling a bit nervous. Don’t panic– Hiltner Trial Lawyers is here to help. There are a number of ways to prevent you from being placed on the sex offender registry. With a fierce advocate like Max Hiltner on your side, we can build a defense and get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and talk about the details of your case.