The Lifelong Consequences Of Designation As A Sexually Violent Predator

Sex offenses come with far-reaching consequences. Many types of convictions carry mandatory designation as a sex offender. Even more serious is the designation of sexually violent predator, which means an offender with a mental or personality disorder that increases the likelihood of reoffending.

The practical consequences of this designation will affect you for the rest of your life. They include:

  • Lifetime registration as a sexually violent predator
  • Mandatory monthly sex offender counseling for life
  • Notification of the victim and community

Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to a felony conviction and mandatory jail time, which is why it's so important to enlist experienced legal help before this designation gets imposed. At the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we can help you navigate this tricky area of law. Our lawyers understand how to raise an effective defense in this pivotal aspect of your proceedings.

Who Can Get This Designation?

A conviction for any sex offense under tier I, II or III of the Adam Walsh Act (formerly Megan's Law) could potentially result in designation as a sexually violent predator. It depends on:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense
  • The age, relationship and mental capacity of the victim
  • The means used to commit the crime
  • Any past history or pattern of similar behaviors
  • Any use of force or other aggravating factors
  • Mental illness, drug use and behavioral issues
  • The likelihood of reoffense

These factors are designed to get at what motivated the offense.

Understanding The Process — And Your Rights

How does this designation get applied? Fortunately, it's not automatic.

Many sex offense convictions will trigger an evaluation by the Sexual Offender's Assessment Board. Based on this evaluation, the prosecution may request a sexually violent predator hearing before a judge, who will make the final determination.

Importantly, in this hearing, the prosecution has the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence — a heightened standard (though not as high as beyond a reasonable doubt). As a result, the hearing is a critical opportunity for you to dispute the designation and avoid the weighty consequences it carries.

At the hearing, you have the right to:

  • An attorney
  • An independent court-appointed psychological expert
  • Call and cross-examine witnesses
  • Testify or remain silent

Because the outcome of the hearing will affect you for life, it's important not to face it alone. Our attorneys can stand beside and fight for you throughout the process.

Learn More About These Hearings And How To Safeguard Your Future

No matter what type of sex offense charge you're facing, you can turn to us for trusted guidance from a legal team that's on your side. For more information, contact us online any time, day or night, or call our office at 610-314-7066. Your initial consultation is absolutely free.