Collateral Consequences of Conviction
Nearly everyone understands that if they are convicted of a crime, the will face jail time, probation time, fines, court fees, or some combination thereof. However, many people are unaware of what are known as the collateral consequences of a conviction. Some common collateral consequences can be the loss of driving privileges for those convicted of DUI or DWI, loss of the right to possess firearms and ammunition for those convicted of violent crimes and felonies, immigration consequences for those who are not citizens of the United States, and registration for those convicted of sex offenses.
International Travel Problems for Sex Offenders
Most people are familiar with the sex offender and predatory offender registries that require those convicted of certain offenses to register for a period of time. One collateral consequence that many are not familiar with involves restrictions on international travel for those convicted of certain sex related offenses. This is the result of federal legislation that was signed into law on February 8, 2016 by President Barack Obama.
International Megan's Law
The International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders, or more simply, the International Megan's Law, provides for additional hurdles for those convicted of sex-related offenses who wish to travel abroad. The law requires that all registered sex offenders inform their respective registry of their intent to travel abroad at least 21 days prior to their departure. If someone fails to comply with this requirement, they can be prosecuted under federal law. The sex offender registry then puts together a report that is forwarded to the country of intended travel. This allows the destination country time to evaluate whether they will allow the offender into their county and be prepared to deny entry in certain cases.
Additionally, the law requires all covered sex offenders to have an endorsement in their passport that indicates they have been designated as a covered sex offender. This passport marker makes it even more difficult for offenders to travel because the country they intend to travel to will put them through a heightened level of scrutiny before allowing entry, if at all.
Avoiding the Collateral Consequences Contained in the International Megan's Law
The collateral consequences contained in Megan's law are harsh and can provide additional stress, anxiety, and embarrassment to those impacted by it. However, just because someone has been charged with a sex-related offense does not mean that they will automatically be subjected to these harsh consequences. Only convictions for some types of sex related offenses will cause someone to fall under the International Megan's Law. It is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side to ensure that you do not suffer these harsh consequences. Olson Defense has over 20 years of experience representing those charged with sex offenses and have achieved favorable results on numerous occasions. If you or a loved one is being investigated for, or charged with a sex offense, contact the attorneys of Olson Defense to ensure that you or your loved one's rights are protected.