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Who must register as a sex offender in Iowa?

In Iowa, being convicted of a sex crime will bring severe consequences. One of the harshest is the requirement of registering as a sex offender. The offender will be listed on the state's sex offender registry, and the information will be available to the public. There are employment restrictions for those on the sex offender registry, and residential restrictions for those convicted of crimes involving children.

The Iowa statutes contain a long list of offenses that require sex offender registration upon conviction. Registration is not limited to persons convicted of felonies; conviction of some misdemeanors will require registration. Nor is it limited to adults; juvenile offenders meeting certain requirements can also be required to register. Under certain circumstances, however, the judge can waive the requirement for a juvenile offender.

A person required to register can be listed on the registry for ten years or for life, depending on the severity of the crime and whether it was a first offense or a second or subsequent offense. If the person is incarcerated, the period of incarceration does not count against the length of the registration; the registration period begins when the person is released from incarceration.

Registering as a sex offender can make life very difficult. A person facing a sex offense charge in Iowa who believes the charge is unfounded or based on false allegations must fight the charges aggressively to avoid this stigma. As in any criminal case, a person charged with a sex crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He or she also has the right to an attorney to defend him or her in court. Defending one's rights vigorously can make the difference between freedom on the one hand, and incarceration followed by years of being a pariah in the community on the other.

Source: Iowa Code ยง 692A.102, accessed May 29, 2016

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