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What Charges Require a Person to Register as a Sex Offender in Wisconsin?

 Posted on December 02, 2019 in Criminal Defense

By Attorney Nicole Masnica

Milwaukee sensitive crimes defense lawyerSex crimes, also known as sensitive crimes, are treated very seriously in Wisconsin. While any criminal conviction can substantially affect your future opportunities, a conviction for a sex offense will carry with it collateral consequences that will impact nearly every aspect of your life for years to come. It is important to understand what might be at stake if you have been accused of a sex offense in Wisconsin.

The Charges

According to Wis. Stat. §301.45, an individual found guilty of any of the following offenses is required to comply with the sex offender registry:

  • First, second, or third-degree sexual assault of an adult
  • First or second-degree sexual assault of a child
  • Repeated sexual assault of the same child
  • Sexual exploitation by a therapist
  • Sexual exploitation of a child
  • Trafficking a child
  • Forcing a child to view or listen to sexual activity
  • Incest involving a child
  • Child enticement
  • Soliciting a child for prostitution
  • Use of an electronic device to aid a sex crime against a child
  • Sexual assault of a child who was placed in substitute care or by school staff
  • Exposing a child to harmful materials
  • Possession of child pornography

While each of the crimes listed above have a different penalty structure, conviction for any one of these offenses mandates that the court order you to comply with the sex offender registration program for a term of either 15 years following the completion of any sentence or for the remainder of your natural life. Those terms are dictated by statute, and in nearly all circumstances, the court cannot exercise its discretion to reduce the term of registration.

In addition to the clearly defined sex offenses listed above, Wis. Stat. §973.048(1m) gives the circuit court authority to order a person comply with sex offender registration requirements for many other offenses, including battery, burglary, arson, and more, if the court determines that the underlying conduct was sexually motivated.

What Does the Sex Offender Registration Requirement Mean to You?

If you are ordered to comply with registration with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry (WDCSOR), the following information will be accessible to the general public:

  • An offender’s name, including any aliases (once a person is registered, they are not allowed to change their name)
  • Personal identification information, including date of birth, gender, race, height, weight, and hair and eye color
  • Detailed information about the offense committed
  • The offender’s current address 
  • The agency that is currently supervising an offender
  • The make, model, and description of any vehicles owned by an offender
  • The name and address of an offender’s employer or school 

In addition to the information listed above, the compliance with the registry requires you to provide the Department of Justice with other private information, including social media profile information, any e-mail addresses regardless of whether they are for work, school, or personal use, and your internet credentials for any type of online account, regardless of whether the accounts are public or private.

Any updates or changes to this information must be provided within 10 days of the change. Failure to report or regularly update any of this information may result in felony charges under Wis. Stat. §301.45(6), which carry a possible penalty of up to six years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for each violation.

Contact Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP for help

Have you been accused of a sex crime? If so, you will want to take immediate action to determine your best defense strategy. A conviction that requires registration as a sex offender will impact you for the rest of your life, so you will want to take steps to protect your rights and avoid the consequences that can come with this type of charge. Contact our Milwaukee, WI criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. Call our office at 414-271-1440 to schedule a consultation today.





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