As you well know, inclusion on the Virginia sex offender registry can impact your life significantly. The police can monitor your location, you are prohibited from going to certain places such as schools or playgrounds, and anyone interested can search for your name on the sex offender list.
You, understandably, want to get off the list.
Only Non-Violent Offenders May Be Eligible for Removal
Virginia Code § 9.1-910 allows a person on the sex offender registry to petition the court for removal from the registry unless the person is on the registry because of a conviction for:
- A sexually violent offense, such as rape
- Two or more offenses that require registration
If you were required to register for any other reason, then you could be eligible for removal from the list after 15 or 25 years, depending on your specific criminal conviction. Additionally, you must complete all court-ordered treatment, counseling, and restitution before you seek removal.
Petitioning the Court for Sex Offender Registry Removal
Whether or not you are removed from the sex offender registry will be a court’s decision.
If you think that you are eligible for removal, then you may petition the circuit court where you were convicted or the circuit court where you live to have your name and information removed from the registry.
The court will receive a copy of your complete criminal history and your sex offender registration history.
Then, the court will hold a hearing on the petition. You, and any other interested parties, may present witnesses and evidence to the court.
After the hearing, the court will grant your petition for removal from the sex offender registry if the court is satisfied that you are no longer a risk to public safety. The court will issue an order granting the petition, and the Virginia State Police will remove your name and identifying information from the registry.
You have a lot at stake. If the court does not grant your petition, then you must wait 24 months before trying again. During this time, all of the restrictions imposed by the registry remain. Potential landlords, employers, friends, and neighbors can find you on the registry, and you will continue to suffer the consequences that come with registering as a sex offender.
Since you have so much at stake, we encourage you to contact our experienced Fairfax sex offender defense lawyers today to learn more about your rights and your potential eligibility for sex offender registry removal.