Many sexual offenses require individuals to register as sex offenders if they are convicted. If you are facing sex crime charges in Omaha, you could be forced to register as a sex offender with the state upon conviction, in addition to other penalties such as imprisonment and/or fines.
It may be difficult to obtain employment, and you may lose access to your children if you are listed in the Omaha sex offender registry. A sex crimes attorney at Berry Law can pursue the most effective strategies for your case and fight to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
When Must Someone Register as a Sex Offender in Nebraska?
Essentially, anyone convicted of a sex crime must also register as a sex offender in the state on top of the other criminal penalties they receive. The types of sex offenses that require someone to register as a sex offender include:
- Sexual assault, including rape, statutory rape, and date rape
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Incest involving a child under 18
- Kidnapping a child under 18
- Solicitation of a minor
- Internet sex crimes
- Prostitution and solicitation
- Indecent exposure
Depending on the date of a person’s conviction, they may be required to register as a sex offender for criminal conduct such as murder, stalking, and false imprisonment.
Length of Registration
While a person’s sex offender status may be temporary in some cases, certain crimes mandate that the individual remain on the sex offender registry in Omaha for life. For most misdemeanor sex crimes, the individual must register as a sex offender for 15 years, according to Nebraska Revised Statutes §29-4005.
In the case of sex crimes that carry a jail sentence exceeding 12 months, the mandatory period of registration is 25 years. Finally, when someone has been convicted of a sex crime previously or was convicted of an aggravated sex crime and incarcerated for more than 12 months, they must register as a sex offender for life. The lifetime sex offender registration status also applies if the person is registered for life elsewhere in the country.
Ramifications of Sex Offender Status
The ramifications of Omaha’s sex offender status far exceed the requirement to register with the state. A registered sex offender must maintain their registration for as long as the judge orders, or for the rest of their life in some instances.
It may be difficult for someone with sex offender status to obtain the residency and employment they wish. Oftentimes, local laws prohibit convicted sex offenders from being in close proximity to locations where children are, like schools. If the individual decides to move out of state, they will be obligated to register with that state and adhere to any requirements that the state imposes.
Reducing the Sex Offender Registration Period
In some cases, a person required to register as a sex offender for 15 years may petition to have their registration time reduced. A sex offender may request their registration period be reduced to 10 years after they complete 10 years of the registration period from the date of their incarceration, probation, supervised release, or parole.
A person must submit a request form to the Nebraska State Patrol, and they must confirm the following:
- They were not convicted of a crime that carries a prison sentence of a year or more.
- They were not convicted of any other sex offenses.
- They successfully completed their probation, parole, incarceration, or supervised release.
- They successfully completed the mandated sex offender treatment program.
Providing any false information or violating any terms of the Sex Offender Registration Act can result in a felony charge.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Sex Crime Charges?
No matter the sex crime you are accused of committing or the strength of evidence against you, you have the right to defend yourself against the charges. If you’re able to present a strong defense and obtain an acquittal or have the charges dropped, you won’t have to worry about registering as a sex offender in the first place.
Although criminal prosecutors in Nebraska typically prosecute sex crimes aggressively, a charge is not a conviction, and prosecutors must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, you need an equally aggressive defense attorney in your corner to challenge the prosecution’s case effectively and increase your chances of getting the most favorable outcomes possible.
The sex crime defense attorneys at Berry Law are tenacious and zealous legal advocates with decades of experience to help you devise a solid and compelling defense. Your defense options depend on the facts and circumstances of your case, and we will thoroughly investigate the matter and leave no stone unturned in our quest to exonerate you. Some defense options that may apply to your case include:
Consent—or lack thereof—is one of the most common elements of a sex crime charge. Consent applies primarily to two sex crime situations: sexual assault and statutory rape. For sexual assault, your attorney may be able to show that the plaintiff gave consent to engaging in sexual acts with you.
However, consent may not work if the accuser is underage. The age of sexual consent in Nebraska is 16. Thus, a person 19 or older may have consensual sexual relations with a person who is at least 16 without fear of criminal prosecution. Statutory rape occurs if one person is 15 or younger, whether or not they provided consent.
Sometimes, people are wrongfully accused of committing crimes they didn’t. False accusations of sex crimes may come from disgruntled ex-romantic partners out of spite, for instance, or people may accuse others for revenge or other reasons. A thorough investigation can help disprove false accusations, and your attorney could rely on DNA evidence to exonerate you.
In some cases, someone simply made a mistake in the person they accused as the perpetrator of the sex crime. The accuser could have been intoxicated at the time, or the perpetrator may have worn a mask or other disguise. An attorney can cross-examine the witness and challenge the evidence to provide doubt in the jury’s mind you were the one who committed the crime.
Keep in mind that some prosecutors and law enforcement officials may persuade an accuser to choose a “preferred suspect.” Your attorney can review all of the evidence and procedures used to arrive at the charge to show such actions, or they may help you establish a solid alibi that proves you had nothing to do with the crime.
Just as witnesses can make mistakes in identifying their assailant, the police can also make errors in collecting and filing important evidence. Additionally, the U.S. Constitution provides protections against unlawful searches and seizures, and your attorney may be able to show the prosecution got their evidence through unlawful means or that the evidence was tainted or not properly handled in the process.
What About Entrapment?
Entrapment refers to law enforcement inciting someone to commit a crime they wouldn’t have committed otherwise. You can’t use entrapment as a valid defense if you intended to commit the crime and the police officer simply gave you the means to do so. Cases involving entrapment are typically complex and sensitive and rely on the skills and knowledge of an experienced attorney to successfully prove.
Learn More About the Omaha Sex Offender Registry from an Experienced Defense Attorney
Being registered on the Omaha sex offender registry could be a burden for the rest of your life, resulting in a loss of freedoms, privacy, and social standing.
If you are facing criminal allegations of sexual misconduct and are unsure of where to turn, an Omaha attorney can provide the aggressive legal representation you need to fight your charges. To discuss your legal options in a confidential consultation, call Berry Law today.