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Court rules Nevada's sex offender laws constitutional

New sex offender laws may have a major impact on juvenile offenders.
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    January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In 2007, Nevada legislators passed new laws concerning the penalties that would be in place for those individuals convicted of sex crimes within the state. The laws were modeled after recommendations that Congress had issued one year earlier in the Adam Walsh Act.

The new laws required that anyone convicted of a felony sex crime, or a crime involving a child victim, would be required to register as sex offender. These were significant changes, especially concerning cases where the offender was under the age of 18. In prior cases, judges could review the facts of the matter and determine whether the offender should have to comply with the adult registration requirements.

Often, judges did not require young offenders to register, as there was a small likelihood that these individuals would reoffend. In many cases, the circumstances surrounding their crimes were different from those committed by adult offenders. Officials believed that these individuals could see more of a benefit from rehabilitation than from incarceration.

Prior to the Nevada law going into effect, some underage offenders had challenged its constitutionality. The case took several years to resolve, and recently, the Nevada Supreme Court held that the law was constitutional, but perhaps not the best way to handle these types of situations. The court felt that the law was simply drafted to match up with the guidelines set by Congress, and did not actually consider the long-term effect that the requirements would have on youthful offenders.

Because of these changes, even more individuals will be required to register as sex offenders. More people registering means more people will need monitoring, and this will cost the state a significant amount of money. Additionally, some critics of the law feel that this will have no impact on public safety, as youthful offenders who were thought to have the potential to reoffend could already be required to register by the judges who initially handled their cases.

Legislators may revisit this law in order to be sure that the penalties in place are appropriate for all offenders, but while this is pending, those charged with sex offenses are facing severe penalties. If you or a loved one is facing sex crime allegations, you need to take action immediately. Do not meet with police until you have consulted with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will be able to accompany you during any interrogations and ensure that your rights are protected from overzealous law enforcement officers.

In many of these situations, it may be necessary to contest these charges in the courtroom. You need to work with someone who has handled similar cases in the past, and knows how to present your side of the story. With such severe consequences at risk, you need to take these matters extremely serious. A conviction will change your entire life, and the impact will last for many years after you have completed any prison time that you receive.

Article provided by Mace J. Yampolsky & Associates
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