Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry - Sex Offender Restriction Tiers - PA Megans Law

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Facing Sex Offender Registration in PA? We Can Help

Firstly, at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our Pennsylvania sex crime defense lawyers are highly proficient at avoiding the convictions that mandate sex offender registration. But we’re also effective in navigating the complexities of the sex offender registration system to ensure our clients’ rights are protected, and individuals fulfill all legal requirements.

For legal guidance and a free consultation with a knowledgeable sex offender registry attorney, call (412) 281-2146 or contact us online. Worgul, Sarna & Ness provides experienced statewide representation and is dedicated to advocating for you.

Statewide Help with Sex Offender Registration

Based in Pittsburgh, Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys offers legal representation and support for those navigating sex offender registration in the Commonwealth

332 Fifth Avenue, 1st Floor,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2437


Sex Offender Registration in Pennsylvania

side from time behind bars, the specter of sex offender registration is one of the most frightening aspects of being convicted of a sexual offense. in Pennsylvania.

Sex offender registration is designed to be thorough and methodical, ensuring that individuals who pose a potential risk are monitored and that the public is protected. But despite its intentions, mandatory sex offender registration is not without its challenges and complexities.

The impact of being a registered sex offender in PA are profound and affect virtually every aspect of one’s life, from housing to employment, and stigma in the community. Missteps in the sex offender registration process can lead to severe consequences and additional charges for failure to register.

What is the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry?

This sex offender registry, established under Megan’s Law, aims to protect communities by making information about certain convicted offenders publicly available. It mandates that individuals in Pennsylvania who are convicted, plead guilty, or are adjudicated delinquent of specific sexual offenses—and who live, work, are transient, or study within the state—must register.

Under Megan’s Law, sex offenders regularly appear at local police stationing and other approved locations in the county they reside to report their current address, employment, school attendance, and other personal details. This mandate is structured into tiers based on the severity of their offenses, with specific time frames and conditions dictating the length and type of registration an individual must adhere to.

Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registration Requirements

The Pennsylvania State Police manages the sex offender list, which includes those with certain sex convictions, Sexually Violent Predators, and juvenile offenders if they’re classified as a Sexually Violent Delinquent Child.

The PA sex offender list categorizes offenders into three tiers depending on the severity of their offenses with varying registration periods:

  • Tier I for 15 years
  • Tier II for 25 years
  • Tier III for a lifetime

Examples of offenses requiring registration range from unlawful restraint and false imprisonment to more severe crimes like rape and aggravated indecent assault.

Offenders must report in person at designated intervals according to their tier classification, with annual check-ins for Tier I, semiannual for Tier II, and quarterly for Tier III and higher classifications.

Sex Offender Restrictions in PA Risk Assessments

If you are ordered to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania, there are many requirements you must adhere to. In addition to registering with the local law enforcement agency in the county where you live, if you work or go to school in another county, you must also register there.

However, these are only the most fundamental requirements of being a registered sex offender in PA. You may face other restrictions based on your sentence or as a term of your probation or parole.

Who Determines Sex Offender Restrictions?

After being convicted of a sex offense, a Sex Offender Assessment Board (SOAB) will conduct an assessment to determine if you should be classified as a sexually violent predator. Separately, the SOAB also performs evaluations for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to assess your re-offending risk and specific risk factors.

The SOAB offers the probation and parole board an expert opinion regarding your treatment, management, and restrictions that address your particular risk of re-offending.

Sex Offender Restrictions in PA

If you must register as a sex offender, you may have to adhere to various restrictions, such as:

  • Community Notification – If a Sexual Offenders Assessment Board determines you are a Sexually Violent Predator or a Sexually Violent Delinquent Child, you are subject to community notification. When you move to a new area, all the households and businesses within 250 feet of your residence receive a community notification flyer or the 25 closest homes and businesses near where you live, whichever is greater. This notification includes your name, address, picture, and the offense you committed that required lifetime sex offender registration.
  • Living Arrangements – As a sex offender, where you can live is not automatically restricted. However, you may be prohibited from living within a certain distance of a school, daycare facility, park, or other places where children congregate. This is more likely to occur if one or more of your victims were minors and, based on your risk assessment, the probation or parole authority believes you living near children would increase the risk of re-offending.
  • Employment Options – Depending on the circumstances of your sex offenses or multiple crimes, a condition of your parole may be not working in certain types of businesses or positions. Usually, the restrictions revolve around keeping you away from vulnerable individuals, such as seniors or individuals with disabilities. You may also be restricted from working in places or positions that would put you in contact with people similar to past victims.
  • Internet Use – Your right to use the Internet is not automatically taken away if you are convicted of a sex offense. However, suppose you used the Internet to commit the crime, such as contacting a victim through a social media network. In that case, a judge may include a prohibition on Internet use as part of your sentence, or the entity that controls your probation or parole may include an Internet ban as part of your conditions of release. In Pennsylvania, this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • No-Contact Orders – You may be required to refrain from contacting specific individuals or putting yourself in situations where you may encounter certain people, such as past victims or your victim type.

Violating Sex Offender Restrictions

As a sex offender on parole or someone required to register, you need to be careful to follow all the restrictions and conditions of your release. If you violate any probation terms other than committing a new crime, it is considered a technical parole violation.

If found guilty of the technical violation, then you may be penalized. The severity of your sentence depends on the violation. Less severe penalties may include drug testing, curfew, or mandatory treatment programs. The most severe punishment is revocation of your parole or probation, which means you will be forced to return to prison.

If you commit a new crime while on parole, this is a convicted parole violation. In this situation, you will be detained and may not be able to post bail. If found guilty of the new offense, you will return to prison and can be charged with the highest imprisonment term for the original offense. If convicted of a non-violent crime, the probation and parole board has the discretion to consider your “street” time.

How to Avoid Sex Offender Registration in PA

As you can see, being convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania carries severe and long-lasting consequences, including mandatory sex offender registration. The best way to circumvent this is to aggressively defend yourself and prevent a sex crime conviction or avoid formal sex offense charges in the first place.

This stresses the importance of working with a defense attorney with significant experience and prior success in sexually based cases. An experienced lawyer will scrutinize every facet of the prosecution’s case to build your defense. Then they’ll employ a multifaceted approach that leverages their skill and resources to instill reasonable doubt, limit the evidence against you, negotiate for reduced penalties, and otherwise secure the best possible outcome, up to and including a dismissal or acquittal.

Attorney Matthew Ness Will Listen & Fight for You

As a defense attorney, Matthew Ness believes that the rights of people accused of crimes are worth upholding and fighting for. He does that every day as a trial defense lawyer. Matthew upholds his clients’ rights to fair and speedy trials, just punishment, and not having rights violated. He’s ready to help you in your sex crimes case. He understands what’s at stake.

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Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry FAQs

Can Someone Be Removed from the PA Sex Offender Registry?

In Pennsylvania, removal from the Sex Offender Registry is possible but very challenging. Depending on the offense, individuals may be required to register for 15 years, 25 years, or for life. Removal usually requires legal action, which could involve overturning your conviction or petitioning the court after the minimum time. In certain circumstances, such as offenses being decriminalized or completion of a probation period, an attorney might argue for removal. For these complexities, consulting a qualified attorney is highly advisable.

What Offenses Require Registration in Pennsylvania?

Serious offenses like rape, sexual assault of a minor, and possession or distribution of child pornography require registration, along with various others categorized under Tier I, II, or III offenses.

When are Registered Sexual Offenders Required to Report/Register?

Individuals required to register as a sexual offender shall appear in person at an approved Registration/Verification Site according to their assigned Tier classification.

  • Tier I offenders – required to appear annually.
  • Tier II offenders – required to appear semiannually (twice a year).
  • Tier III offenders – required to appear quarterly (four times a year).
  • Transient offenders – required to appear monthly.
  • Sexually Violent Delinquent Child – required to appear quarterly (four times a year).
  • Sexually Violent Predator– required to appear quarterly (four times a year).
  • Ten-year registrant – required to appear annually.
  • Lifetime registrant – required to appear annually.

All Sexual Offenders, Sexually Violent Predators, and Sexually Violent Delinquent Children must report any change in registration information within three business days.

Can the Public Access the Sex Offender List?

Yes, the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry is public; anyone can search for registrants online.

Do Out-of-State Sex Offenders Have to Register?

Yes. Megan’s Law applies to certain out-of-state sexual offenders and Sexually Violent Predators/Sexually Violent Delinquent Children who reside, are homeless/transient, work/carry on a vocation, or attend school in Pennsylvania.

Are Juvenile Sex Offenders Required to Register in PA?

No. On December 29, 2014, In re: J.B., No.87 MAP 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down SORNA’s Juvenile Offender registration requirements as unconstitutional. Juveniles are no longer required to register in Pennsylvania, except if the Court classifies them as a Sexually Violent Delinquent Child. This decision also includes Juveniles who are to register in another jurisdiction or foreign country.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in PA?

In Pennsylvania, only Sexually Violent Predators, Sexually Violent Delinquent Children, and individuals convicted in another state where the notification requirement is a result of that conviction are subject to the community notification requirements of Megan’s Law.

Why Choose Worgul, Sarna & Ness?

Our attorneys bring a wealth of experience, and prior success in assisting people avoid sex offender registration by aggressively defending them of sexual offense allegations. Our Pennsylvania sex crime defense law firm is recognized for:

  • Skill & Impressive Results in Sex Offense Cases
  • Exhaustive Independent Investigations & Tailored Strategies
  • Client-Focused Representation & Comprehensive Advocacy
  • Statewide Availability & Ongoing Legal Support

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Absolutely amazing, substantially better results than what I thought, very aggressive in defending people, would 110% recommend these guys every time!


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Notable Case Results

Acquittal for Client Charged With Multiple Sex Crimes

When an Allegheny County man was falsely accused of raping his minor daughter, he trusted the accomplished sex crimes defense attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, LLC to protect his reputation.

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Worried about Sex Offender Registration? Get a Free Consultation

If you’re concerned about violating your restrictions as a sex offender or have been accused of a sex crime that mandates registration in PA, you need to take the matter seriously and seek immediate legal counsel. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our team handles sex offense cases across the state and crafts effective defenses to protect your reputation, rights, and freedom.

Don’t wait to protect yourself. Call(412) 281-2146 or submit a request 24/7 for a free consultation. An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer will explain your options and what comes next.