Legal Columns

What Restrictions Can a Registered Sex Offender Face?

In Arkansas, a conviction for some sex crimes may result in your being required to register as a sex offender. This means that you must regularly provide a local law enforcement agency with your personal identifying information and details about the offense. It also means that you may be prohibited from living in certain areas or participating in certain activities.

The Arkansas Department of Corrections Sex Offender Screening and Risk Assessment Program assigns risk levels to individuals convicted of sex crimes.

These levels indicate the person's likelihood of reoffending, and are as follows:

  • Level 1: Low Risk
  • Level 2: Moderate Risk
  • Level 3: High Risk
  • Level 4: Sexually Dangerous Predator

Registered sex offenders designated at Level 1 or 2 will have to register with law enforcement; however, they won't have living or activity participation limitations placed upon them.

Individuals considered Level 3 or 4 offenders will be subject to the following restrictions:

  • Prohibited from living near a place of worship or child care facility: They cannot knowingly live within 2,000 feet of a:
    • Public or private elementary or secondary school,
    • Public park,
    • Youth center, or
    • Daycare center

Additionally, Level 4 offenders cannot knowingly live within 2,000 feet of a place of worship

  • Prohibited from working with children: They can't work in positions that allows them to have direct contact with a child under 16 years of age. Nor can they run their own daycare facility or work as a contractor, employee, or agent for someone who operates a privately owned daycare facility.
  • Prohibited from living near or having contact with their alleged victim: They cannot live within 2,000 feet of their alleged victim. Additionally, they cannot directly or indirectly contact the individual.
  • Prohibited from entering a school campus: They cannot knowingly enter a public school campus, nor can they go onto a private school campus unless they have permission from that institution and abide by all conditions set forth.
  • Prohibited from entering certain Arkansas State Park facilities: They cannot knowingly go to a playground or swimming area that is in a state park.
  • Prohibited from participating in Halloween-related activities: They cannot:
    • Hand out anything, including candy, at a Halloween event at which minors are present; nor
    • Wear a mask at a Halloween event at which minors are present
  • Prohibited from recording a minor under 14 years of age: They cannot record a person under 14 years of age and post the image or video online if they have been told by a judge or probation or parole officer that such conduct was prohibited. Nor can they post such recordings online for their own or another's sexual arousal or desire.
  • Prohibited from having an ID card that has incorrect information: They cannot provide false information to obtain an ID card that contains their address nor have in their possession an ID card or driver's license that has the incorrect residence information.

Except for possessing an ID or driver's license with the wrong residence address, all of the offenses listed above are Class D felonies. If a person violates the law and is convicted, they could be facing up to 6 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. Possession of an ID card or driver's license with the incorrect information is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

If you've been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Northwest Arkansas, contact Norwood & Norwood, P.A. at (479) 235-4600 to get the aggressive defense you need.