When you face charges for certain criminal violations, you must undertake to register as an offender, for various reasons. The state of Virginia has incorporated laws that bind criminal offenders under specific crimes to register with the relevant authorities after a conviction. The Virginia Statute gives specific crimes that warrant immediate registration, while also providing all the actual characteristics of the persons involved as victims in the offense. Therefore, subsection 9.1-902 makes detailed mentions of all the crimes that qualify offenders to make a mandatory registration under the guidelines given.
If you are faced with such subsequent requirements to make the necessary registrations as a criminal offender, you need the services of a defense attorney to help you through the process. At the Virginia Criminal Attorney, we serve our Fairfax and North Virginia clients by offering the best legal advice and overall support that takes you beyond your conviction period.
Offenses That Require Registration Under Section 9.1-902
The Virginia Statute of regulations lists all the crimes that require immediate registration as sex or criminal homicide offender. The listed crimes cover different actions amounting to sexual offenses, as well as any further actions based on these offenses that you may have undertaken. Due to the wide range of provisions, numerous convicted offenders face the registration process every day, depending on the crime you are involved in.
The types of criminal activities under sub-section 9.1-902 are:
1. Actual or Attempted Commissions of Sexual Offenses
Under the first category, you are liable to register as a sex offender if you have engaged in any of the listed crimes. You may be the primary party to the crime or a secondary participant who merely conspires to participate in the illegal actions. Also, you may face conviction from involvement in conspiracies against the victim, by agreeing to engage in the offensive actions against a victim. Regardless of your role in the overall sex crime, your conviction will give rise to mandatory registration with the state as an offender. The statute further gives explicit scenarios that amount to a violation of the law, for the avoidance of any doubt. The activities listed under this category are:
Acquiring Earnings From a Minor’s Prostitution
If you engage in sourcing income from the illegal activities of a child under the age of eighteen years, you will be convicted of a sex crime. The act of taking money from the minor warrants drastic measures against you and any other person involved in the organization and exploitation of the child. The illegal plan may involve forcing the minor into the world of prostitution, exposing him/her to possible health and physical risks. Before you face a legal conviction in court, the prosecutor must prove your criminal intention and activities, to ensure that you face a lawful sentence.
Having Sexual Intercourse With a Child Aged Between 13 to 15 Years
Regardless of whether the minor involved in the sexual activity gave consent or not, you are liable to face sex offense charges and a subsequent conviction, if guilty. The law strikes out the validity of the child’s consent because he/she is not deemed mature enough to understand the nature of the actions. When you are found guilty of the crime, the law finds it paramount to record you as a sex offender, mainly to prevent you from having access to vulnerable children in the future.
Breaking and Entering A Premise Intending to Commit Rape
Making a forceful entrance into a human dwelling or any other premise where the victim of a sexual offense lives or works warrants severe repercussions, including registration as a sex offender that may last for up to twenty years. However, the prosecution must prove your intention to forcibly engage your victim in carnal knowledge before you face any penalties that will warrant including the title of a sex offender on your criminal record.
Soliciting a Minor Online to Engage in Pornography
The cyberspace has also been infiltrated with numerous sexual predators who attract minors into engaging in pornographic activities. When you are caught in such an arrangement with a person under eighteen years, the law requires you to register as a sex offender. The actions range from asking for indecent videos from the child to engaging him/her in vulgar sexual conversations.
Exposing a Minor to Indecent Environments for Prostitution
The listed offense involves a suspect who may have engaged in arrangements that involves taking a child under eighteen years to bawdy locations like brothels or clubs, where he/she has to engage in prostitution. You do not have to tell the minor to engage in the activities directly, because the act of taking the child into the bawdy places is enough exposure. Any subsequent activities that the minors engage in because you decided to bring him/her into the locations will warrant you appear in court and face sex offense charges. Afterward, you must register as a sex offender under Virginia law.
Facing a Subsequent Conviction for Sexually Abusing a Minor Under 15 Years
Repeat offenders face more stringent sentences and fine penalties, especially if the crime they are involved in targeted a child. If the victim of your physical and sexual violence is a person below fifteen years, you will face a more significant punishment regarding the period that your sex offender record lasts. Moreover, if there are several aggravating factors to your case, the duration that your criminal record indicates your status as a registered sex offender increases. Nevertheless, your criminal lawyer can negotiate with the relevant authorities and get you a time frame reduction that will be beneficial to you.
Creating Nude Images and Attempted Sexual Battery
The two offenses are listed together because one often leads to another. For example, if you are looking to coerce a victim to take nude photographs, you may have to use threats of force, which amounts to attempted battery. Additionally, the offense includes using weapons or other harmful objects to create intimidation that you will use against the victim. Your actions may be as minimal as folding your wrist and aiming it at the victim, as long as he/she has a valid reason to anticipate violence or force. Consequently, if you are found guilty of one or both offenses, you will register as a sex offender.
Subjecting a Helpless or Mentally Incapacitated Minor to Sexual Offenses
Any person who takes advantage of a child in a position where he/she cannot find immediate help and exploits the situation by engaging the child in sexual activities is guilty of a criminal offense. In this case, the victim may be mentally handicapped, meaning that he/she cannot distinguish right from wrong. Also, the minor may be physically weaker than the abuser, causing him/her to have little to no resistance power against any sexual advances. Involving yourself in such a criminal activity amounts to serious offenses, resulting in significant penalties.
Penetration of a Child's Mouth With Lewd Intentions
Forcing a minor to participate in indecencies like mouth penetration amounting to cunnilingus is a gross violation of legal provisions against sexual offenses. The crime involves inserting your genital organ into the minor’s mouth, to please yourself sexually. The prosecutor must prove all the relevant elements of the crime before the presiding judge finds you guilty, and issues penalties afterward.
Profiting From Deployment of a Minor into the Prostitution Business
If a child under eighteen years works for you and gives you the chance to earn a commission from his/her prostitution, you will face sex offense charges. The difference between this crime and that of receiving money from a minor’s prostitution is that in this case, you are actively involved in assigning tasks to the child, as well as rationing what he/she earns. Therefore, you are the child’s immediate boss, because you are responsible for his/her deployment.
The Virginia statute has serious consequences for the lack of registration as a sex offender after the conviction of such a crime, and you may face additional sentences and penalties.
2. Criminal Homicide
Homicide is defined as an intentional act to take another’s life. In some cases, the homicide may be legal, especially when it comes to legal death sentences. Additionally, members of the armed forces are authorized to execute any armed suspect who is a threat to national security. Apart from the explicitly listed instances of legal homicide, any other act of killing a person is classified as criminal and attracts penalties.
You should note that engaging in the illegal activities of ending another’s life is generally defined as murder. Moreover, the category of murder has several subdivisions, depending on the severity and nature of the homicide. Getting involved in the following activities may leave you guilty of criminal homicide and warrant a registration under Code 9.1-902:
Involvement in Capital Murder
The Virginia statute classifies certain killings as capital murder, depending on the types and numbers of people killed. If you face these charges, chances are that you are guilty of killing people under extremely aggressive circumstances. Additionally, murdering service providers who work to benefit the federal judicial and security wing amounts to capital murder.
Anyone involved in an act of terrorism that includes a mass shooting, bombing, or holding people hostage and later executing them is an offense punishable as capital murder. Moreover, if you are guilty of killing during a robbery, you will face capital murder charges for the actions you involve yourself in.
On top of that, capital murder charges are entered against you if you kill the victim of abduction as you try to conceal the entire occurrence of the events, or seek to escape incrimination by eliminating the victim, who may give testimony if he/she survives. Also, you are guilty of capital murder for killing anyone set to be a witness in a case that may or may not involve you directly. Not only is the murder unlawful, but the act of ending the life of the witness amounts to obstruction of justice, which attracts other individual penalties.
Another set of circumstances that attracts capital offense charges is getting involved in the murder of a judge to prevent the conclusion of a trial. The occurrence is common when you are sure of your guilt and are seeking to delay the justice system for as long as you can.
The killing of a police officer is also considered a very serious crime classified as capital murder, because of the high dependency of such persons to the security and enforcement of the law in the state. Therefore, murdering an officer will attract severe penalties and may open up new lines of prosecution, especially if the murder was predetermined, and involved hurting other innocent people in the process.
Other circumstances that result in you facing capital offense charges are:
- Hiring a murderer to take on a specific job
- Killing someone during or after raping him/her
- Killing multiple persons in a single instance
Taking part in any of these activities will attract legal consequences that include long jail sentences, as well as registration as a murderer.
Another branch of criminal homicides involves voluntary manslaughter, amounting to an offense listed under the Virginia code 9.1-902. Besides this, section 18.2-35 gives the exclusive punishments given to anyone found guilty of the crime, by classifying it as a class 5 felony. ,
Legally, manslaughter refers to killing someone without any premeditated intention. Thus, in this case, you lack the criminal intent but decide to undertake the killing during the set of circumstances presented. The essential elements of the crime require you to have acted suddenly and in a personal capacity to expose the victim of the manslaughter to lethal danger. Additionally, your actions should be the direct cause of the victim’s death, resulting in a direct link that leaves you guilty
Most offenders who are found guilty of voluntary manslaughter often present the defense of provocation that must be sudden and unforeseen. The basis of the argument is that the crime arises from an uncontrollable surge of anger that prompts you to act violently. While the argument may work, it does not absolve you of conviction, but merely acts as a mitigating factor to reduce your penalties.
Contrary to voluntary manslaughter, this crime involves an offender who lacked valid regard for human life. The essential elements that the prosecutor relies on to prove your guilt are:
- Your actions were the immediate cause of the victim’s death
- You were not keen enough to acknowledge that your actions would cause an unavoidable threat to the other person’s life
- You knew or ought to have known that your actions were dangerous and could easily result in the victim’s death
Once the prosecutor proves that you satisfied all these criminal elements, you will receive punitive sentences and fines to pay, depending on the circumstances of your case. Since involuntary manslaughter exhibits elements of negligence on your part, the law makes it mandatory for you to designate as a criminal offender as well. However, your criminal defense lawyer can raise mitigating factors before the final determination of your case, to prevent a mandatory registration process.
Killing a Pregnant Woman
Taking part in the murder of a pregnant woman with a premeditated intention attracts severe penalties, with the guilty party facing a minimum of ten years in prison, and a maximum forty-year sentence under section 18.2-32.1 of the Virginia code. The subsequent requirement is making a registration to be listed as a felony offender that goes under your criminal record. Inevitably, registration under the Virginia code will attract more disadvantageous consequences to your life, including discrimination by other community members long after serving your sentence.
The crime of murder is listed independently under the Virginia code subsection 9.1-902 because it entails unique elements from homicide. If you are guilty of murder, you may face charges as a first or second-degree offender, depending on the circumstances of your case. You should note that for a prosecutor to persuade the judge of your criminal guilt during a murder trial, he/she must demonstrate all actions you undertook and link them to the listed elements of the crime. The two main requirements that the prosecution must prove is the Actus Reus and the Mens Rea to show your actual actions, and your premeditated thoughts and intention to commit the crime.
First Degree Murder
In this case, you must have a wilful and deliberate intention to undertake your actions. Also, you should have a reasonably foreseeable outcome that you expect from the illegal activities you engage in; the death of the victim. Some of the criminal activities that result in first-degree murder convictions are:
- Engaging in arson where fire victims die
- Killing a rape victim in the course of the violation or afterward
- Murdering a victim of abduction
- Killing someone during a burglary crime
- Killing a victim during armed robbery operations
Second Degree Murder
For a second-degree murder conviction, the prosecutor must show that you had a premeditated intention to kill someone but lacked proper planning. Therefore, in most cases, he/she may rely on the events that led up to the victim’s death, including the use of crude weapons to hurt the victim until he/she died. Alternatively, the prosecution may decide to cross-examine you and prove that you had a premeditated intention by the kind of knowledge you had regarding the deceased person. Regardless of the means used to extract evidence and information, your criminal lawyer will work to provide statements that may reduce the possibility of having to register as an offender.
4. Sexual Offenses that Include Violence
If you engage in any other violent sexual activities, you must undergo registration as a sex offender under the Virginia Statue. Some of these crimes are an aggravated form of previously listed criminal activities. They include:
- Forced sodomy
- Engaging a minor in lewd conducts like touching genitals for pleasure
- Engaging in aggravated forms of sexual battery that involve extremely violent methods
- Forcing another to engage in sexual object penetration
The penalties are severe on any offender, as you may face a class 4 or class 6 felony. For example, you could pay a fine of up to $100,000 or up to 20 years in prison for engaging in an aggravated sexual battery, on top of mandatory registration as a sex offender.
5. Engaging in Any of The Listed Offenses in a Foreign Country
If you are an American citizen, it is immaterial that you participate in any of the listed offenses in a different country, because section 9.1-902 binds you to register as an offender once you return to the country. Moreover, international law provisions are beneficial in enabling countries to exchange information on criminal offenders, to enable a smooth transition once you return to your original country. Nevertheless, your lawyer can challenge the laws applied in a different jurisdiction, especially if the applied laws are significantly different from Virginia Statute provisions. Subsequently, you could evade the stringent requirements to do with registration as an offender.
6. An Offense that Requires Listing as a Sex Offender Against Minors Under a Different Jurisdiction
If you are a resident of the state of Virginia but underwent trial for a sex offense against a minor in a different state or court jurisdiction, the Virginia Statute requires you to register as a sex offender in that jurisdiction, as the regulations in the area dictate. Therefore, you will be recognized as a sex offender in the state where you underwent trial, as well as in the state of Virginia. This way, authorities will be able to track and monitor your activity regardless of your location.
Penalties for Failing to Make a Registration
When you deliberately defy the requirements under section 9.1-902 and fail to make the appropriate registrations as a criminal offender, you will face additional penalties for impunity. While your lawyer may make several defenses to help mitigate the circumstances of your case, the judge can tell a genuine mistake from intentional defiance.
The consequences depend on the type of crime you were previously convicted for. Thus, if the offense was non-violent, you will face a fine of up to $2500 or a sentence of up to 12 months in jail, or both.
On the other hand, when you fail to enroll as an offender after a violent sex crime or murder conviction, you may receive a sentence of up to ten years in jail or pay a penalty of up to $2,500 or both.
Moreover, if you fail to list as a sex offender or a murder offender for any subsequent crimes, you face up to five years in prison.
Removal From Offender Registry
Despite the difficulties of petitioning for removal in the sex offender or murder offenses registry, you can follow some specifications and secure removal from the records. Firstly, you need to engage your lawyer in the operation, to ensure that he/she makes regular follow-ups in your petition and ensure that it goes through.
After that, you must ensure that you stick to all the requirements listed, including showing that you successfully paid all the required fines and completed your sentence without any mishaps. Proving that you have also attended several counseling sessions to try and improve on your character will also go a long way in securing your removal from the offenders’ registry.
Find a Fairfax Criminal Lawyer Near Me
The subsequent conviction process is never easy, especially when you have to face additional punitive measures like registration as sex or homicide offender. However, despite all the challenges you face, acquiring the services of a well-experienced lawyer saves you a lot of trouble and stress that comes with registration and living with the status of an offender. At the Virginia Criminal Attorney, we will offer you all the support and guidance you need for a smooth transition after conviction and acquisition of an offender record. Call us today at 703-718-5533 if you are in Fairfax or the Northern Virginia area.