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PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys

Oklahoma Sex Offender Restrictions Cause Residency Nightmare

September 9th, 2010

Sex offender restrictions in Oklahoma were made even more stringent earlier this year with the passage of Senate Bill 2064, which expanded the “zone of safety” in which registered Oklahoma sex offenders are not allowed to enter.  While supporters of the bill claimed that strengthening restrictions against sex offenders protects the safety of potential victims, opponents say that the problems associated with such harsh penalties for conviction of an Oklahoma sex crime make it nearly impossible for registered sex offenders to make a new start.  Being branded as a sex offender comes as a consequence for a broad range of sex offenses:  a registered sex offender may be a violent child rapist or may be someone convicted of a crime as seemingly minor as indecent exposure in Oklahoma.  Despite the varying degrees of the offense, all sex offenders are subject to the same restrictions as far as the penalties imposed under the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry.

According to one local news report, under the “zone of safety” requirements of Oklahoma sex offender laws, eighty-five percent of Oklahoma City is off-limits to registered sex offenders.  Because of these restrictions, finding affordable housing and gaining a fresh start is virtually impossible for registered Oklahoma sex offenders who have completed their jail sentences.  However, the housing dilemma for Oklahoma sex offenders is not the only problem created by expanding the zone of safety.  Many police officers report that enforcement of the law is difficult, and that such residency limitations actually make it more challenging to protect the innocent.  According to some officers, once the safety zone was expanded, sex offenders facing the daunting–if not impossible–task of finding housing simply failed to register.  Once they “disappear” from the radar, police say, the task of protecting the public from Oklahoma sex offenders becomes much more complicated.

One Oklahoma City news station reported on the failure of Oklahoma sex offender safety zones:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbWPlRzMCHM

Because these severe restrictions impact all individuals convicted of sex crimes who are forced to register as an Oklahoma sex offender, it is vital that those charged with such crimes seek immediate counsel from a skilled Oklahoma sex crimes lawyer who can help protect the rights and maintain the freedoms of the accused.

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  • Tiggerinma says on: October 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm

     

    Good article. One can easily see how residency restrictions lead to clustering in the few acceptable places, homelessness, or absconding from registering for the rest. Lack of housing or forced changes in housing leads to added stress. Housing problems is the one of the three mitigating outcomes of our failed sex offender laws. The other two being lack of employment, and forcing former offenders away from support services that produce stable relationships. All three can lead to more re-offenses and more children in danger.

    BTW, the video above has already had the link disabled, probably from pressure from those who don’t want the truth known.

  • jeff says on: March 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

     

    i am sex offender, in ’92 i was charged w/rape & sodomy of my wifes sister, it was a cosentual relationship ,but when her sis found out she yelled rape,the judge seen this & wasnt going to prosocute,but if he didnt the st. would pik up charges so he gave me the minimum of 5 years deffered so i wouldnt hav to register, but as time went on the laws got tougher so now i have to register for life. is there any hope of getting off the registry?

  • K. L. P says on: January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

     

    I believe that some sex offenders should be cleared of registry after a certain time. Many people go by the saying “they will never change” bottom line is that everyone has a past, and you must ask yourself what was some of the things that you done and just didn’t get caught for. If your life is clean or if you know someone who has cleaned up their life than that saying should go out the window. Everyone is capable of change, even sex offenders.

  • Lisa says on: July 8, 2012 at 11:47 am

     

    There is hope. Just have to wait a while. If you had probation, it would be 10 years after your probation has ended that you can hire a lawyer to get the felony off your record so that you would no longer have to register. Seems a lot of ppl wrongfully accused, (or in some cases FALSE accusations) are getting slapped with a sex offense.

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PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys