I’m Being Added to the National Sex Offender Registry. Now What?

August 10, 2021

Being registered as a sex offender can significantly impact your life and affect where you live, work, the places you can go, and with who you can be in contact. In this post, we’ll look into details about the sex offender registry lists, criminal records, what information they store, what issues may arise from being on the list and how a lawyer can help you get the best outcome possible. 

What Are the NSOR and the OSOR?

Certain offences require those convicted to register with the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) and Ontario, the Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR). In Canada, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act or SOIRA allows the RCMP to keep updated records and information about sex offenders in these registry lists. According to the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, their purpose is to “protect society through the effective prevention or investigation of sexual crimes.” 

These registries are not open or available to the public and are only available to the police. If someone who is registered is accused of a crime, the police can use the information in the registry to investigate. 

What Issues May Arise From Being On These Lists?

If you are registered as a sex offender, there are often significant restrictions placed on where you can go, where you can work and who you can see.  Depending on the ancillary orders the sentencing Judge imposes you may not be able to attend public spaces where children are likely to be. This includes places like schools, parks, playgrounds. 

As a registered sex offender, you cannot work or volunteer with children or have any contact with a child unless under court-directed supervision. These restrictions can place severe limitations on job opportunities and where you are allowed to live. 

You must register at your designated Sex Offender Registration Centre within seven days of sentencing and update your information every year. You must also report if you intend to travel away from your primary residence for more than one week and report where you will be staying. 

What Information is Stored on the Sites?

The registry collects a large amount of personal information. If you make any changes to your address, phone number, employment, vehicle, or passport, you must notify the center within seven days. 

They will collect the following information:

  • Legal Name & Other Known Names (Alias)
  • Gender
  • Your Date Of Birth
  • Physical Description (Weight, Height, Etc.)
  • Address Of Primary & Secondary Residences
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Address Of Educational Institution (If Attending)
  • Name & Address Of Volunteer Organizations
  • Information About Convicted Offence
  • Current Photograph
  • Identifying Marks (Tattoos, Scars, Etc.)
  • Vehicle Information (Owned & Regularly Used)
  • Employment & Work Address
  • Provincial Driver’s Licence
  • Passport Information

How long will you be on the lists?

The length of time you need to stay on the list depends on your case and previous criminal history. The SOIRA requires registered offenders to report for ten years, 20 years or for life, depending on their offence. 

How Can You Have Your Time Reduced?

If you have been sentenced with a 10-year order, you can apply for a termination order to remove yourself from the list. If you have a 20-year order, you have to wait for ten years before applying. If your record has been suspended, or you have been granted a pardon, you can apply for a termination order. 

As you can see, registering as a sex offender has a significant impact on your life. It is essential to have the advice and experience of a criminal lawyer to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. William Jaksa has over a decade of experience as a criminal defence attorney defending clients.  If you have been charged with a sexual offence, contact William Jaksa for a consultation.

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