In recent news, the Eastern District of the Oklahoma United States Attorney’s Office announced on January 10, 2014 that Gary J. Neel of Wagoner, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment without parole and 5 more years of supervision for failure to register and update his registration as required by the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Neel had a felony conviction in New York from 1998, for attempted sexual acts. Given the severity of punishment for failure to register over a one month period, one may be concerned if they are in compliance with Oklahoma sex offender registration law.
Offender Registration and Notification:
Oklahoma Sex offender registration laws have been in effect in Oklahoma since 1989, but since then, has undergone many revisions. This has led many to complain it is too difficult to keep up with the ever-changing requirements. Although the Supreme Court of Oklahoma has struck down ex post facto application of new sex offender registration rules.
Trends in Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration:
Currently, Oklahoma law requires offenders to register as their “Level”. Levels are in accordance with their offense. Level 1 offenders are “low danger” and must register annually for 15 years; Level 2 offenders are a “moderate danger” and must register every 6 months for 25 years; and Level 3 offenders are a “serious danger” to the community and must register every 90 days for life. There are also residency restrictions preventing convicted sex offenders from living within a certain radius of places. These include schools and parks, or working at or even visiting such places.
The registration laws are so complex that sex offenders benefit by having an attorney. Attorneys help them identify if they must register, based not only on changing laws, but also on changing court interpretations of the law. When an offender was convicted and when they first came to live in Oklahoma greatly impacts the person’s registration requirements. There may be no need for you to continue your burdensome registration. But the ramifications of not registering are harsh, as seen in the case of Gary J. Neel. Oklahoma statutes provide a penalty up to five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000.00 for failure to register. With these high stakes, you need skilled and understanding counsel to assist you.
Sex offender registration requirements and the level-based classification system can help protect communities from dangerous sexual predators. However, they also know how the requirements can be confusing and unduly burdensome to those who are subject to them. Many of the constraints are harsh for someone that has already served their time. For example, offenders may have to use a GPS tracking device, submit to DNA profiles, and take polygraph tests.
Experienced Oklahoma Sex Offender Attorneys:
If you wish to learn more about Oklahoma sex offender registration, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kania Law Office today and get the information that you need. One of our criminal defense lawyers will help analyze your case and discuss with you all of your legal options. If you prefer to contact us in writing, you may fill out our convenient online form so we can contact you.
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Are you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.