Over the last several decades both law enforcement agencies and private advocacy groups across the United States have waged a campaign in an effort to strengthen the penalties for convicted sex offenders. One primary objective of the campaign has been to establish laws in each state that require convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies as soon as they are released back into the community. Nebraska is one of a growing number of states that now has an active Sex Offender Registry. Aside from being required to register, however, what restrictions do registered sex offenders have to live with in Nebraska?
Because the sex offender registration laws are a relatively new concept in the U.S. there is a considerable amount of confusion surrounding them. Offenders are often unsure whether or not they are required to register and, if they are, where and when to do so. On the other end, members of the general public are either unaware that the registries exist or are under the impression that they do much more than they actually do with regard to restricting the activities of a registered offender.
In the State of Nebraska, conviction of certain offenses always require registration with the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. There are also some offenses that can require registration if the judge makes registration part of the offender’s sentence. The registration requirement, however, is just that – an order to register with the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction where the offender plans to live. The purpose of registration is twofold. First, because the registry is open to the public, the average citizen is able to search and see if any sex offenders live nearby. Second, if a sex crime is committed in the area it can help the investigation to know if any known sex offenders live or work near the scene of the crime.
What the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry does not do, however, is place further restrictions on a registered offender. No state law prohibits a sex offender from living wherever he/she wants nor do any laws prohibit an offender from working at any specific jobs. Nebraska legislation did, however, enact guidelines in July 2006 for those cities who wish to adopt a living restriction ordinance. This means that individual cities within Nebraska may have a living restriction that prohibits a registered se offender from living within a specific distance from a school or daycare facility. Moreover, these restrictions only apply to individuals who have been classified as a sexual predator. A sexual predator is someone who has committed an aggravated, or more serious, sex offense and whose victim was 18 years of age or under. Aside from the possibility of a city living restriction for sexual predators, there are no restrictions placed on a registered se offender in the State of Nebraska.
If you have been charged with a sex offense in the State of Nebraska it is in your best interest to contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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