What Is the Sex Offender Registry?

While terms of imprisonment and fines are often the first things that most people will have concerns about when facing sex crime charges in West Virginia, another major
consequence of a conviction can be compliance with the state’s sex offender registry. If you have fears about being required to register as a sex offender in West Virginia, make sure you speak with a Charleston criminal defense attorney for help evaluating all of your possible defenses against your charges.

The Sex Offender Registration Act in West Virginia is in Article 12 of Chapter 15 of the West Virginia Code, and the official sex offender registry website for the state is on the West Virginia State Police website. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is the national sex offender public website and provides free, immediate access to all jurisdictions’ sex offender registries.

West Virginia Sex Offender Registry

West Virginia notifies all residents of sex offenders who are living in their communities and requires sex offenders with sex crime convictions to register with the state. The Sex Offender Registration Act requires the West Virginia Police Department to maintain a website for posting information about sex offenders for public viewing, and the website does not have punitive purposes because its intention is to notify the public of sex offenders living near them.

Sex offenders with certain sex crime convictions must register upon their release from
confinement, probation, or parole. They submit necessary details to their local law
enforcement authorities.

The West Virginia Police cannot determine where a sex offender can reside or not reside unless there is a court order. Sex offenders with certain sex crime convictions must register with the state’s sex offender registry at the local police department within three days of their release from confinement.

Under West Virginia Code § 15-12-2(d), a person who is required to register must register in person with the West Virginia State Police agency responsible for covering the county of their residence and provide or cooperate in providing the following information:

● The registrant’s full name, including any of their aliases, nicknames, or other names

● The address at which the registrant intends to reside or resides at the time of their
registration and the address of any habitable real property the registrant owns or
leases that they regularly visit (a post office box cannot be provided in lieu of a
physical residential address)

● The registrant’s Social Security number

● A full-face photograph of a registrant at the time of their registration

● A brief description of a crime or crimes for which a registrant was convicted

● The registrant’s fingerprints and palm prints

● Information that relates to any motor vehicle, trailer, or motor home a registrant
owns or regularly operates, including the vehicle make, model, color, and license
plate number

● Information relating to any internet accounts a registrant has and the screen names,
user names, or aliases the registrant uses on the internet

● Information relating to any telephone or electronic paging device numbers that a
registrant has or uses, including residential, work, and mobile telephone numbers.

● A photocopy of a valid driver’s license or another government-issued identification
card, including a tribal identification card

● A photocopy of any passport and/or immigration documents

● A photocopy of any professional licensing information authorizing a registrant to
engage in an occupation or carry out a trade or business

● Any identifying information, such as make, model, serial number, and photograph,
regarding any kind of unmanned aerial vehicle a registrant owns or operates

As it concerns a sexually violent offense, West Virginia Code § 15-12-2(i) establishes that the phrase includes:

● Sexual assault in the first degree, West Virginia Code § 61-8B-3

● Sexual assault in the second degree, West Virginia Code § 61-8B-4

● Sexual assault of a spouse, West Virginia Code § 61-8B-6

● Sexual abuse in the first degree, West Virginia Code § 61-8B-7

Several penalties exist relating to sex offender registration. Any sex offender who provides false information to law enforcement officers or knowingly fails to register commits a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or one year in jail.

A second offense will be a felony punishable by up to five years in a state jail, and a third offense may lead to up to 20 years in prison. Sex offenders who are on parole or probation and fail to register can have their terms of parole or probation revoked and be placed in confinement to serve the remainder of their suspended jail terms.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Charleston Attorney

Are you thinking that you might have to register as a sex offender if you receive a
conviction for a sex crime in West Virginia? You will want to reach out to Cary Law Office as soon as possible to discuss your possible ability to fight the criminal charges and get either a reduction in or dismissal of the charges.

Our firm regularly defends all kinds of people facing sex crime charges and knows how to fight these cases. You may call us at (304) 804-6369 or contact us online for a free
consultation so we can thoroughly review your case and help you understand what
defenses you might have against the charges you are facing.