Some people will say that being charged with a sex offence is worse than being charged with murder, and not without reason. While murder carries harsher sentencing penalties and longer prison time, the long-term effects of being convicted of a sex crime can last a lifetime and prevent you from being able to move on with your life. This includes being required to register as a sex offender every year.
In 2001, Ontario was the first province to establish a sex offender registry. The federal government followed suit in 2004 with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) and the National Sex Offender Registry that was established pursuant to that law requires offenders who have been convicted of certain designated sex crimes to report within seven days and re-register annually or following a change address or legal name. Registered persons must also provide the duration and location to police of any place in Canada they wish to travel when travelling for more than one week.
Depending on the conviction, offenders may have to continue registering for 10 years, 20 years, or for the rest of their lives. However, once on the registry, an offender will be listed on it in indefinitely, even long after their reporting requirement has ended.
The following are among the Criminal Code offences that are included as designated offences under the SOIRA :
- sexual interference
- invitation to sexual touching
- sexual exploitation
- child pornography (making, possession, distribution)
- parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
- sexual assault
- sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
- aggravated sexual assault
- select offences where it can be proven that the offence was committed with the intent to commit an offence of a sexual nature
- attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offences
The information on the sex offender registry is not available to the public, and the sex offender database is only accessible directly or indirectly by accredited police agencies in every province and territory.
Nevertheless, being designated as a registered sex offender is just one of many harsh consequences that follow a sex crime conviction. Even something as basic as buying a house can become a nightmare just because you are a registered sex offender. If you have been charged with a sex offence of any kind, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.
Ottawa Criminal Defence Firm Engel & Associates Defends Against Even The Most Complicated Charges
Criminal defence lawyers Bruce Engel and Elena Davies have represented individuals and businesses charged with hundreds of different offences throughout Canada for more than two decades. From the start of a criminal investigation to the close of a trial, we will take a balanced and forceful approach to your defence. We have the experience and know-how to effectively navigate the constantly changing justice system in Canada.
The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.