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

August 10, 2021

Being registered on the Canada Sex Offender Registry 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 Canada Sex Offender Registry lists, criminal records, what information they store, what issues may arise from being on the sex offender list Canada and how a lawyer can help you get the best outcome possible. We will also explore the Ontario Sex Offender Registry.

what is a sex offender?

Exactly what is a sex offender? When most people think of a sex offender, they may picture a dirty old man in a raincoat who preys on young children. However, there is no one-size-fits-all description of what constitutes a sex offender. In Canada, anyone convicted of a sexual assault related offence can be labelled as such, regardless of their age or gender. This means that your neighbour, co-worker or even family member could be considered a sex offender. While it is important to be aware of those around you who may pose a threat, it is also important to remember that not all sex offenders are created equal. Some may have committed serious offences, while others may have simply made an inappropriate joke or gesture. It takes very little to be convicted of a sexual offence that could have you places on the Ontario Sex Offender Registry.

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.” 

Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Canada

Whether its the Ontario Sex Offender Registry or the Sex Offender Registry Canada, 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. People on the Canada Sex Offender Registry or the Sex Offender Registry Ontario do not need to notify their neighbours that they are a sex offender list.

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 they will ensure that your name is properly added to the Sex Offender Registry Ontario and the Sex Offender List Canada. 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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