If you have been convicted of a sex crime and you are thinking about traveling outside of the United States, your travel plans face certain hardships. It is already difficult to travel as a sex offender, but a law passed recently will make it even harder when it goes into effect.
This law requires sex offenders to have a special mark on their passports that identifies their sex offender status. The goal of the legislation is to curb international sex trafficking, but the identifying mark is not limited to those who have been convicted of crimes related to sex trafficking.
In an effort to stop the law from going into effect, a lawsuit was filed. However, the federal court dismissed the challenge.
“A Legitimate Interest”
The court reasoned that the lawsuit was “premature” because the special mark has yet to be placed on passports. The judge also declared that the focus with this law is “preventing U.S. persons from committing acts of sexual abuse or exploitation in other countries” and working with other countries to ensure that all are aware when a sex offender enters or leaves a country.
The court denied that the law violates the Fifth Amendment rights of those who it affects. The lawsuit claimed that the law violated protections against self-incrimination by forcing passport holders to answer questions from foreign immigration officials.
The Dangerous Effects of a Scarlet Passport
No one denies that the goal of preventing sex trafficking is a worthy one, but the new law has the potential to cause more harm than it solves. In many cases where a person is required to register as a sex offender, they are doing so as a result of a conviction that occurred long ago. The requirement to register is for a lifetime, even if you have proven that you no longer pose a threat to the community.
Plus, registration laws differ from state to state. Some states allow registered sex offenders to forego registration after several years without committing any other offenses. Other states, like California, require lifetime registration.
Additionally, the mark does not identify the specific crime for which the passport holder was convicted. This means that regardless of the severity of the crime committed, the person will likely be subject to the stigma reserved for the worst of sex crimes.
These factors lead to unfair treatment that discriminates based upon where sex offenders live and fails to account for the severity of their crimes.
How to End Sex Offender Registration in California
If you are facing the lifetime consequences of a sex crime conviction, it could greatly impact your ability to travel freely. The best thing you can do if you wish to end these harsh penalties is attempt to be removed from the sex offender registry.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled lawyers have been successfully helping our clients end sex offender registration requirements for more than 35 years. We can help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Victorville and Torrance, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.