There are a variety of consequences that come with being sentenced to register as a sexual offender in the state of Louisiana. Having that status can prevent you from obtaining a career in certain industries, bar you from joining community activities such as sports or volunteering, and it can even make it difficult to maintain a personal relationship with friends and family.
Among the penalties for obtaining a sex offender status is the restriction of social media usage. For how individuals who are on the Louisiana sex offender registry, there are certain guidelines for the usage of social media websites such as Instagram, Facebook, and others.
Online Restrictions for Louisiana Sex Offenders
Any individual living in Louisiana who has committed a sex crime and is listed as a registered sex offender is prevented from using any social media or peer-to-peer websites. This restriction comes as a result of House Bill 55 and includes chat rooms and websites like Twitter or Reddit. Specific definitions of these terms include:
- Chat rooms: Websites that allow users to communicate through text that is broadcast to other users in a specific area on a page meant for open, public, or localized discussion.
- Social networks: Websites that are accessible to the public where an individual can create a profile about themselves, share information, and communicate publicly or privately with other users.
- Peer-to-peer networks: Computer systems that are connected and share files directly between the systems on a network that does not have a centralized server.
In order for someone who is registered on the Louisiana sex offender registry to use these sites, they must obtain legal permission from their parole officer, their probation officer, or a judge. If the necessary permission is obtained, the registered individual will still be asked to list their sex offender status on whichever social media websites they use.
Penalties for violating these laws come with a steep fee and an extended sentence, with fines up to $10,000 and the possibility of jail time for up to 10 years. However, if the offender is on their second conviction for violating these terms, the penalties become much more serious at a possibility of $20,000 in fees and 20 years in jail.
Requirements for Louisiana Sex Offender Registration
After legal cases involving certain sex crimes, a Louisiana court may sentence an individual to register as a sex offender. This means that they must share their personal and identifying information in a public database that catalogs anyone who has committed a sexual offense. To qualify for this registry, a person must have committed a crime such as:
- Forced or aggravated rape
- Sexual assault or battery, with or without a weapon
- Molestation of a minor
- Human trafficking of a minor for sexual purposes
- Solicitation of child pornography
- Kidnapping a minor
- Intentionally exposing others to AIDS/HIV
- Prohibited sexual conduct between a student and an educator
Once an individual has been charged with a sex crime and is sentenced to register as a sex offender, certain information is recorded and shared publicly. It is the responsibility of the person being registered to maintain an accurate record of their public information on the sex offender registry. This means that if a registered sex offender were to change their place of work or their address, they would need to update the registry themselves or potentially face a fine.
Information Necessary for Sex Offender Registries in Louisiana
Maintaining and updating the information in the sex offender registry is a safety measure for the public so that they may easily identify a person who has committed sex crimes. This information must also be shared with any place that a person with a sex crime conviction is employed, but it can also prevent some companies—such as any place that works with children or young adults—from hiring those individuals.
In order to continuously allow the public to recognize an individual on the sex offender registry, certain pieces of information must be updated and submitted every three to six months and can include any of the following:
- Name and all past aliases or maiden names
- Date of birth
- Photographs or physical descriptions that include gender, age, race, height, weight, hair and eye color, tattoos, facial hair, and other identifying features
- Home address
- All known phone numbers
- Name and address of their place of employment
- Full description of any vehicles owned or driven, including license plate numbers
- All email addresses, online usernames, or other internet identities
- Immigration status, if applicable
There are many challenging limitations placed on those who are convicted of sex crimes in the state of Louisiana. Restrictions can prevent individuals on sex offender registries from living their life normally in a variety of ways, and it can be detrimental to their mental health and personal lives.
Defend Your Rights with a Trusted Sex Crime Attorney in Louisiana
If you are preparing to go to court for a sex crime case, you need to stay informed and prepared before going to trial. It is vital that you find a legal professional who understands the criminal defense process and can help you defend your rights. Working with an experienced sex crime attorney like Eric Johnson at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm can give you an advantage in court. With over two decades of experience and many successful cases, his skilled defense strategy can help you take strong representation to court.
To schedule your free case consultation with one of our legal professionals, give us a call at (318)-377-1555 or reach out to us online.