In Louisiana as in most other states, when an individual has been convicted of a crime and served their sentences, they’re set free — with restrictions. In some states, that can include limits on the right to vote, get a law license, or hold public office.
In Louisiana, however, the restrictions are particularly strict for those who have been convicted of sexual offenses. After they’re released from prison, these offenders are required to register as sex offenders. But the restrictions extend well beyond that. The state also imposes restrictions on the type of jobs they can hold and the kind of business they can run. So what’s the state’s motivation if ex-felons are supposed to be given a second chance to start over and succeed?
Let’s examine what Louisiana law says about registered sex offenders and the restrictions they face once they’ve completed their original sentence.
What Rules are Convicted Sex Offenders Required to Follow?
Anyone convicted of sex crimes or crimes against children is mandated to register with the State Sex Offender & Child Predator Registry. Doing that requires them to disclose personal information, including their:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- A DNA sample.
Sex offenders can be required to register for anywhere from 15 years to the rest of their life. For those convicted of crimes against children, there are restrictions intended to keep them away from areas where children can be found. In January 2013, Lousiana lawmakers voted to limit the ability of convicted sex offenders to use public libraries, particularly during peak hours or at times when children’s programs are scheduled. The law allows Louisiana’s parishes to set their own restrictions, including prohibiting sex offenders from entering certain areas of a library.
Lousiana also requires individuals convicted of child molestation and sex crimes involving children to list their crimes on all of their social networking profiles. The penalties for violating this law can include up to 20 years in prison.
Does the Law Limit Where Sex Offenders Can Work?
Convicted sex offenders in Louisiana are banned from certain professions. That includes driving buses, taxicabs or limousines. The reason for these restrictions is that Louisiana lawmakers believe sex offenders, sexually violent predators, and child predators have a higher than average risk of committing another crime after they’ve been released, including engaging in sexual offenses against minors. So the laws take aim at places where these ex-felons could potentially find employment.
Louisiana law requires certain business establishments to post information about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, and those businesses include hotels, massage parlors, spas, and gas stations and highway rest stops. The notice reads:
“If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.”
Sex offenders are also prohibited from working as door-to-door salespersons, and they also can’t get employment as service workers who go into residences.
Critics Say These Laws Are Unfair. Why?
Critics and sociologists have cautioned that if sex offenders do have a higher than average recidivism rate, it may be because these restrictions make it that much harder for these ex-felons to reintegrate into society.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime, there are significant long-term consequences to a conviction, which is why it’s important to reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer to review your case.
Find an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney in Louisiana
If you are facing charges of sexual misconduct with a minor or any other sexual crime, it’s important not to let a single mistake destroy your life. The consequences of a conviction will be very severe and will continue for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
In Louisiana, a top source for criminal defense attorneys is the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm. We have more than 25 years of experience representing ordinary citizens just like you and want to help you get your life back on the right track. It’s our mission to give you the most personalized experience possible and help you have your voice heard.
Eric Johnson is respected throughout Louisiana and is known for providing solid representation that wins cases. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, call our office at 318-377-1555 or contact us online today. We’re here to represent you!