Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Summary of Alabama's "Sex Offender Registry" and other post-conviction laws as of June 2020

This is a summary of Alabama's laws using info compiled from multiple sources and will be printed in OnceFallen's upcoming survival guide for registered persons. While I'm no longer updating this website as of January 2019, I have posted this here since many resources still link to this blog for Alabama news, and i'll try to update this post as new laws take effect.

Please keep in mind you could still have additional restrictions beyond what is written here if you are on probation/ parole.

RESTORATION OF CERTAIN RIGHYS: The Collatereal Consequences Resource Center has a page on restoring certain rights (firearms, voting, jury duty, and public office) as well as pardon info, updated June 2020. That resource is:

COMMENT: While Florida is often considered the worst state for a registered person to live, a strong case can be made for Alabama having the worst set of Sex offense Laws in the nation. The most onerous of these laws are severe restrictions on “loitering” and working in proximity to prohibited areas, which are broadly enforced; in 2016, a registrant volunteering as a firefighter was arrested for accepting a service call within 2000 feet of a school.

  • Date Registry Established: 9/6/1967
  • Registry Retroactive? No. 
  • Qualifying event: Release
  • Online since: 8/1/1998
  • Statutes: Code of Alabama, §13A-11-204, §§15-20A-1 through 15-20A-48, Ala. Admin Code r. 760-X-1-.21
  • Substantially AWA Compliant? Yes
  • Where to register: In-person at local Sheriff’s Office
  • When to register: Initial reg. and updates to reg. information must be done “immediately.” (Within three business days)  §§15-20A-10, 15-20A-14. “Reside” is defined as “to by habitually or systematically present at a place,” and includes 4 or more hours at a place per day for a duration of (a) 3 or more consecutive days, or (b) 10 or more days in a calendar month. Overnights not required to establish a residence. §15-20A-4(20). 
  • Frequency/ Length of registration: 
    • All SOs register in Alabama FOR LIFE. Homeless registrants report once every 7 calendar days. §15-20A-12. All others quarterly. §15-20A-10.
    • Out of state offenses: see § 15-20A-5(35), (37).
    • Juveniles/"youthful offenders": Life/10 years, depending on offense, date of offense, and recidivist status §§ 15-20A-3(c), (d), (e), (f); 15-20A-28(a), (c), (e); 15-20A-35.
  • Registry fees: $10 quarterly. (Can be waived if declared indigent by the court) § 15-20A-22
  • Community Notification: Alabama notifies all neighbors within a 1000-2000 feet of the registrant and all schools within 3 miles. Ala. Code § 15-20A-21
  • Residence restriction: 2,000 ft. of school, child care facility, resident camp facility, victim or victim’s immediate family; exceptions apply. §15-20A-11. Additional restrictions apply to residence with any minor. “A sex offender required to register under this chapter may petition the court for relief from the residency restriction pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 15-20A-11 during the time a sex offender is terminally ill or permanently immobile.” § 15-20A-23
  • Anti-Clustering: No Registered Person can live in the same household with another Registered Person in Jefferson County (Birmingham). § 13A-11-204
  • Employment restriction: 2,000 ft. of school or childcare facility; 500 ft. of playground, park, athletic field or facility, or child-focused business or facility. §15-20A-13.
  • Presence restriction: For conviction involving minor, “loitering” 500 ft. of school, child care facility, playground, park, athletic field or facility, school bus stop, college or university, or any child-focused business; registrant must be asked to leave by “authorized person.” §15-20A-17.
  • Travel regulations: Registrants in AL must notify law enforcement whenever traveling for 3 or more consecutive days; travel without this notification will be deemed a change of residence. §15-20A-15. May be required to pay fee. Police may verify temporary address. 
  • Halloween/ Holiday Restrictions: None
  • Civil Commitment: No
  • SVP Enhancement: A sexually violent predator, as a condition of the sex offender's release from incarceration, shall be subject to electronic monitoring and be required to pay the costs of such monitoring, as set forth in Section 15-20A-20, for a period of no less than 10 years from the date of the sexually violent predator's release. § 15-20A-19
  • Parental Rights: (Ala. Code, Secs. 12-15-312, 12-16-319, 15-20A-11): AL’s  laws are complex and rather confusing, with diminished rights for people convicted of specific charges. AL passed HB 48 (2019), known as “Jessi’s Law,” (Amended by Act 2019-512,§ 2, eff. 9/1/2019) which amended Ala. Code § 12-15-312, 12-15-319 to bar anyone convicted of 1st Degree rape, 1st Degree Sodomy, or Incest from obtaining parental custody of their children, regardless of whether the crime involved their children. In addition, any felony can be considered as grounds for termination of parental rights. AL also prohibits RPs who are adults from living with anyone under age 18 or allowing minors to have overnight visits unless that registrant is the parent, grandparent, stepparent, sibling, or stepsibling of the minor. However, this exception does not apply if the case involved anyone under age 12, if it involved anyone under age 18 if the minor victim lived in the residence with the offender, if the minor was a relative, if there was force involved, or if there is an attempted or completed termination of parental rights in the courts.
  • Special ID Card: Pursuant to Section 15-20A-18, Code of Alabama 1975, any registered sex offender is required to always have in possession a valid driver license or identification card issued by ALEA designating to law enforcement officers registered the sex offender status.  In compliance with the recent judgment entered in Doe v. Marshall, 2:15-CV-606-WKW, ALEA is changing the way the sex offender status is designated on a license or identification card by removing the words "CRIMINAL SEX OFFENDER" and replacing it with a code that will appear on the face of the card. In addition, registrants may be required to carry a separate card issued by the local Sheriff’s Office at all times and must be presented if an officer asks for identification. 
  • Castration: Since the law was enforced in 2019, I currently lack the legal statute. “Subject to Section 15-22-27.3, Code of Alabama 1975, (which excludes those accused of Class B or Class A felonies from obtaining parole), as a condition of parole, a court shall order a person convicted of a sex offense involving a person under the age of 13 years to undergo chemical castration treatment, in addition to any other punishment prescribed for that offense or any other provision of law.” The registrant shall pay the costs unless declared indigent AND determined to be unable to pay for the foreseeable future. 
  • Relief from SO Legal Restrictions:
    • Registration: Less serious non-violent adult, youthful, offender, or juvenile offenses may petition the sentencing court for relief at or after sentencing, if: (1) offense did not involve force and was only a crime due to age of the victim; and (2) at the time of offense, victim was 13 years or older and the defendant was less than five years older than the victim. § 15-20A-24. Requirements for relief: No prior or subsequent sex offense adjudications or convictions, no pending sex offense charges. § 15-20A-24(k). Court may consider criminal history. § 15-20A-24(h). Court may consider various factors and find by "clear and convincing evidence that the sex offender does not pose a substantial risk of perpetrating any future sex offense." § 15-20A-24(h).
    • Lifetime juvenile registrant relief: No subsequent youthful offender sex offender adjudication, conviction for a sex offense, or pending criminal charges; court may consider criminal history. §§ 15-20A-28(e); 15-20A-34(g). Court may consider various factors and must be "satisfied by clear and convincing evidence that the juvenile sex offender is rehabilitated and does not pose a threat to the safety of the public." § 15-20A-34(g), (h).
    • Employment: (Only less serious crimes and none involving a minor will be considered.) Those convicted of less serious offenses may petition county court for relief from employment restrictions (e.g., regarding proximity to a school) at any time. § 15-20A-25. Restrictions may be reinstated for good cause. § 15-20A-25(i). No prior or subsequent sex offense adjudications or convictions, no pending sex offense charges. § 15-20A-25(h). Court may consider criminal history. § 15-20A-25(f)(2).
    • Residency: Registrants who are terminally ill, permanently immobile, have a debilitating medical condition requiring substantial care or supervision, or require placement in a residential health care facility, may petition county court for relief from certain residency restrictions at any time. § 15-20A-23. Must be reinstated if person is no longer afflicted. § 15-20A-23(k). Relief for residency restrictions: no pending criminal charges. § 15-20A-23(d)(3).
    • Pardon relieves registration obligation only if specified, and if 30 days' notice given to victim. § 15-22-36(c), (e).

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