Some convictions are tough to live down

The potential to receive a sentence involving jail time, a heavy fine or both is something that weighs upon the minds of most people who are charged with a criminal offense. And while these penalties are meant to be serious, in an attempt to prevent the offenses in the first place, there are some crimes that have penalties that go beyond incarceration.

Georgia is known for its aggressive stance against people convicted of sex crimes. While this applies to the investigation and prosecution of people in the state who are facing sex crimes charges, it also carries over to Georgia's sex offender registry laws, which are among the toughest in the nation. Because of this, working with an experienced, effective criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference -- not just in terms of a guilty or not guilty verdict, but regarding the severity of a sentence.

In many cases, people who are convicted of a sex crime in Georgia are required to register for the state's sex offender registry. This places them in a publically searchable database for the rest of their lives. People on the list have to report to the sheriff in the county they live in once a year for fingerprinting and to have a photograph taken; people designated as more dangerous offenders have to do this every six months instead of annually.

There are ways to be removed from the sex offender registry, but they are designed to be difficult and require lots of paperwork. Clearly, it is much better not to have to register for the list in the first place than to try to figure out how to be removed from it.

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