Sex Offender Registry

Georgia Sex Offender Registry

Georgia has strict laws concerning sex offenders. People convicted of a dangerous sexual offense or someone who was convicted of a criminal offense against a minor that is not in prison must register as a sex offender. The individual will remain on the registry for life unless removed by the court.

What is a Sexual Offender and a Sexually Dangerous Predator?

Under O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(a)(20), a sexual offender is any individual who has been committed of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offender. It also includes a person who has been convicted in another state or territory. In addition, Georgia requires people who are deemed a sexually dangerous predator to register. A sexually dangerous predator is a person who was designated as one between July 1, 1966 and June 30, 2006. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(a)(21)

What Is Considered a Criminal Offense Against a Victim Who Is a Minor?

Under O.C.GA. §42-1-12(a)(9)(B), with “criminal offense against a victim who is a minor” with respect to convictions occurring after June 30, 2017, means any criminal offense which consists of:

  • Kidnapping of a minor, except by a parent;
  • False imprisonment of a minor, except by a parent;
  • Criminal sexual conduct toward a minor;
  • Solicitation of a minor to engage in sexual conduct;
  • Use of a minor in a sexual performance;
  • Solicitation of a minor to practice prostitution;
  • Use of a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct to produce any visual medium depicting such conduct;
  • Creating, publishing, selling, distributing, or possessing any material depicting a minor or a portion of a minor's body engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
  • Transmitting, making, selling, buying, or disseminating by means of a computer any descriptive or identifying information regarding a child for the purpose of offering or soliciting sexual conduct of or with a child or the visual depicting of such conduct;
  • Conspiracy to transport, ship, receive, or distribute visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • Any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor.

What is a Dangerous Sexual Offense in Georgia?

O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(a)(10) splits a dangerous sexual offense into categories based on the date of conviction. Convictions occurring between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017 which consist of the same or similar elements of the following offenses will be considered a dangerous sexual offense: 

  • Aggravated assault with the intent to rape in violation of Code Section 16-5-21;
  • Kidnapping in violation of Code Section 16-5-40 which involves a victim who is less than 14 years of age, except by a parent;
  • Trafficking a person for sexual servitude in violation of Code Section 16-5-46;
  • Rape in violation of Code Section 16-6-1;
  • Sodomy in violation of Code Section 16-6-2;
  • Aggravated sodomy in violation of Code Section 16-6-2;
  • Statutory rape in violation of Code Section 16-6-3, if the individual convicted of the offense is 21 years of age or older;
  • Child molestation in violation of Code Section 16-6-4;
  • Aggravated child molestation in violation of Code Section 16-6-4, unless the person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense;
  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes in violation of Code Section 16-6-5;
  • Sexual assault against persons in custody in violation of Code Section 16-6-5.1;
  • Incest in violation of Code Section 16-6-22;
  • A second conviction for sexual battery in violation of Code Section 16-6-22.1;
  • Aggravated sexual battery in violation of Code Section 16-6-22.2;
  • Sexual exploitation of children in violation of Code Section 16-12-100;
  • Electronically furnishing obscene material to minors in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.1;
  • Computer pornography and child exploitation in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.2;
  • Obscene telephone contact in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.3; or
  • Any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor or an attempt to commit a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor.

With respect to convictions after June 30, 2017, a dangerous sexual offense means any criminal offense of the same or similar elements of the following offenses:

  • Aggravated assault with the intent to rape in violation of Code Section 16-5-21;
  • Kidnapping in violation of Code Section 16-5-40 which involves a victim who is less than 14 years of age, except by a parent;
  • Trafficking an individual for sexual servitude in violation of Code Section 16-5-46;
  • Rape in violation of Code Section 16-6-1;
  • Sodomy in violation of Code Section 16-6-2;
  • Aggravated sodomy in violation of Code Section 16-6-2;
  • Statutory rape in violation of Code Section 16-6-3, if the individual convicted of the offense is 21 years of age or older;
  • Child molestation in violation of Code Section 16-6-4;
  • Aggravated child molestation in violation of Code Section 16-6-4, unless the person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense;
  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes in violation of Code Section 16-6-5;
  • Sexual assault against persons in custody in violation of Code Section 16-6-5.1;
  • Incest in violation of Code Section 16-6-22;
  • A second conviction for sexual battery in violation of Code Section 16-6-22.1;
  • Aggravated sexual battery in violation of Code Section 16-6-22.2;
  • Sexual exploitation of children in violation of Code Section 16-12-100;
  • Electronically furnishing obscene material to minors in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.1;
  • Computer pornography and child exploitation in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.2;
  • Obscene telephone contact in violation of Code Section 16-12-100.3; or
  • Any conduct which, by its nature, is a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor or an attempt to commit a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor.

Who Must Register and What is the Process to Register as a Sex Offender in Georgia?

Before being released from prison or placed on parole, a sexual offender must provide the GBI and the sheriff's office in the county where they will be living with their information, and their name must be added to the GBI and sheriff's office list of sexual offenders. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(d)

O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(e) outlines the people that must register:

  • People convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor after July 1, 1996
  • People convicted of a dangerous sexual offense after July 1, 1996
  • People convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor and may be released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation on or after July 1, 1996
  • Persons who have previously been convicted of a sexually violent offense or dangerous sexual offense and may be released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation on or after July 1, 1996
  • Persons who are a resident of Georgia who intends to reside in this state and who is convicted under the laws of another state or the United States, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or in a tribal court of a sexually violent offense, a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor on or after July 1, 1999, or a dangerous sexual offense on or after July 1, 1996.
  • A nonresident who changes residence from another state or territory of the United States or any other place to Georgia who is required to register as a sexual offender under federal law, military law, tribal law, or the laws of another state or territory, or who has been convicted in this state of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense.

To register, the sexual offender must register in person with the sheriff of the county in which they reside within 72 hours from being released from prison. If the offender is homeless, they must register with the sheriff of the county in which they sleep. Furthermore, they must renew their registration information with the sheriff in person with 72 hours of their birthday each year. They will also be photographed and fingerprinted. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(a)(10)(f)

Can a Sex Offender Be Removed From the Registry in Georgia?

According to O.C.G.A. §42-1-19, there is a process where a sex offender can petition the court to be removed from the registry if the individual:

  1. Has completed all prison, parole, supervised release, and probation for the offense which required registration pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12; and is confined to a hospice facility, skilled nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly, or nursing home; is totally and permanently disabled as such term is defined in Code Section 49-4-80; or is otherwise seriously physically incapacitated due to illness or injury;
  2. Was sentenced for a crime that became punishable as a misdemeanor on or after July 1, 2006, and meets the criteria set forth in subparagraphs (c)(1)(A) through (c)(1)(F) of Code Section 17-10-6.2;
  3. Is required to register solely because he or she was convicted of kidnapping or false imprisonment involving a minor and such offense did not involve a sexual offender against such minor or an attempt to commit a sexual offense against such minor.  For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘sexual offense' means any offense listed in division (a)(10)(B)(i) or (a)(10)(B)(iv) through (a)(10)(B)(xix) of Code Section 42-1-12; or
  4. Has completed all prison, parole, supervised release, and probation for the offense which required registration pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12 and meets the criteria set forth in subparagraphs (c)(1)(A) through (c)(1)(F) of Code Section 17-10-6.2.

Furthermore, if the offender meets all of the above requirements, they will be considered for release from registration only if either 10 years have elapsed since they completed all the requirements or the individual has been classified by the board as a Level I risk assessment classification. If the board has not done a risk assessment classification for such individual, the court shall order such classification to be completed prior to considering the petition for release.

Are Juveniles Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Georgia?

No, unless they have been tried and convicted as an adult. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(a)(9)(c)

What Happens When a Sexual Offender Moves to Georgia?

If a sex offender from another state moves to Georgia, they must report in person to the Sheriff of their new county of residence within 72 hours of relocating to Georgia. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(f)(2)

What Happens When a Georgia Sexual Offender Moves to Another State?

If a sex offender moves to another state, they are required to register their new address with the sheriff of the county with whom they last registered. They must also register with a designated law enforcement agency in the new state within 72 hours after establishing residence in the new state. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(f)(5)

For example, a sex offender that registered in Hall County, Georgia decided to move to Brevard County, Florida. They must notify Hall County of their new address as well as register in Florida within 72 hours after establishing their residence.

What Happens if a Sex Offender Fails to Register?

Failing to register as a sex offender in Georgia is a serious crime. In addition to registering, a sexual offender must report to the sheriff of the county where they reside or sleep within 72 hours of their birthday. Failure to do so will be grounds to be convicted under this statute. Failure to register, providing false information, or not reporting to the sheriff will result in the offender being guilty of a felony with a prison term between one and thirty years. However, a second conviction will result in a prison term with a minimum of five years and a maximum of thirty years. O.C.G.A. §42-1-12(n)

Contact Us

If you have questions about registering or made a mistake and have been charged with not registering, we can help. There are always defenses that apply to your case! Our office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter when you need us, we are here ready for your call. Contact us now and see how we can assist with your case.

Contact Us Today for Immediate Help

The time is now to start preparing your defense! Many times people lose the opportunity to put on their best defense because they wait. The importance of hiring a lawyer from the very beginning cannot be overstated! Waiting allows for witnesses to leave the area, evidence to be lost, and memories to fade. All of these have a direct effect on the successful on your case. The time to begin your case and start prepping your defense is now! Contact us today to put on your best Georgia criminal defense!

Menu