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Removal Georgia Sex Offender Registry

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Removal from Sex Offender Registry


Georgia law allows some individuals on the Georgia Sex Offender Registry to be removed from the registry. Below you will find the eligibility requirements and how the removal process and works in Georgia.

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Georgia has roughly 24,000 people on the sex offender registry. The vast majority of these people are low level offenders who have never and likely will never reoffend. For these people, Georgia provides a pathway to petition the court to come off the registry after a certain amount of time has passed.

Georgia Sex Offender Registry

Georgia Code § 42-1-19 describes the removal process for Georgia’s sex offender registry. The person must first file a petition in the superior court of the county where they were convicted. If they were convicted out of state or in federal court, they must file the petition in their county of residence. The judge will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not they should be removed from the registry. This involves whether a person is likely to commit a sex offense in the future. If the judge determines that the person is eligible for removal, they will sign an order releasing them from all of Georgia’s sex offender registration requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to file a petition, a person must have completed all prison, parole, supervised release, and probation for the offense that led to their registration. In addition, the following conditions must be met:

  1. No prior sex offense convictions.
  2. No weapons were involved (or objects that could cause serious bodily injury)
  3. No evidence of a similar transaction (i.e. accusation of a different sex offense, even if no arrest or conviction resulted)
  4. The victim did not suffer intentional physical harm
  5. The victim was not transported during the commission of the offense
  6. The victim was not physically restrained

In addition, you must have been classified by the board as a Level 1 risk assessment classification. Alternatively, if you have a Level 2 classification and ten years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you may be eligible to file a petition for removal. Anyone classified as a Level 3 (known as a Sexually Dangerous Predator) is ineligible to be removed.

Removal

After filing the petition to be removed, the judge will hold an evidentiary hearing, during which the defense attorney will present evidence that the person is eligible to be removed. The person must show that they are not likely to commit any future dangerous sexual offense by a preponderance of the evidence. 

While each case is different, there are a number of things that you can do to increase the odds of being removed:

  • Psychosexual. By undergoing a psychosexual evaluation, you can provide the court with expert testimony that you are at a low risk of reoffending. This gives the judge a solid reason based on science as to why your removal makes sense.
  • Polygraph. A polygraph can show that you have not reoffended since you were convicted. While these are not always admissible, it can be powerful evidence when used properly.
  • Character Witnesses. Character witnesses are typically family members, friends, employers, and neighbors. By coming to court, these individuals are essentially vouching for you that you will never reoffender and therefore should come off the registry.
  • Showing Stability. The judge will want to see that you have a stable life. This can mean steady employment, a place to live, and family or community ties which suggest that you will not reoffend.

Contact Us

Johnson/Citronberg has an office in Atlanta, and we represent clients across Georgia. If you are looking for a compassionate, experienced, results-driven lawyer, give us a call at 703-684-8000.

Contact Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC
(703) 684-8000

Our experienced attorneys have the ability and resources to handle even the most complex criminal defense matters.