This article Guide to the Sex Offenders Registration is written by Emma Turnbull, Director, Emma Turnbull Lawyers, Specialist Criminal Lawyer.
A passionate and fearless advocate, Emma appears regularly in all courts across the Victorian criminal law jurisdiction defending clients charged with any level of crime; from driving offences to homicide. Emma is the managing partner of the firm and prides herself on sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge in a way that her staff and clients can easily comprehend.
Introduction: The Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) in Victoria is a critical piece of legislation designed to enhance community safety and manage the risks posed by individuals with a history of sexual offenses. This guide aims to provide an overview of SORA, its requirements, mandatory obligations, community management, and the consequences of breaching an order.
Understanding the Sex Offenders Registration Act:
- Purpose: SORA serves to monitor and register individuals who have been convicted of serious sexual offences. Its primary objective is to protect the community by providing authorities with essential information about sex offenders.
- Registration Period: Individuals convicted of specified sexual offenses are required to register under SORA for a specified period, depending on the nature of the offence and the sentence imposed.
- Information Collection: Registered sex offenders must provide personal and identifying information, including their name, address, and details of their offences, to the Victoria Police. This information is securely stored and used for law enforcement purposes.
Mandatory Obligations and Compliance:
- Initial Registration: Upon conviction for a specified sexual offence, individuals must conduct an initial register with the Victoria Police within the specified timeframe, typically within seven days. This is ordinarily achieved by a telephone conference call.
- Notification of Changes: Registered sex offenders are obligated to inform the Victoria Police of any changes to their personal details, such as a change of address, within a specified timeframe.
- Reporting Requirements: Registered sex offenders must report to the Victoria Police periodically, as determined by their risk level, to update their personal information and provide additional details if requested.
Managing Life in the Community with an Order:
- Residency Restrictions: Depending on the risk assessment, sex offenders may be subject to residency restrictions, including prohibited zones such as schools, parks, or childcare facilities.
- Employment and Volunteering: SORA may impose restrictions on employment or volunteering opportunities, especially if they involve contact with vulnerable individuals or require specific permissions.
- Treatment and Rehabilitation: Registered sex offenders are encouraged to participate in treatment and rehabilitation programs to address their offending behaviour and to reduce the risk of reoffending as assessed by Victoria Police.
Consequences of Breaching a Sex Offenders Registration Order:
- Criminal Offence: Breaching any obligations under SORA is a serious criminal offence, which can result in significant penalties, including imprisonment.
- Increased Monitoring: Breaching a SORA Order may lead to increased scrutiny, monitoring, and supervision by police.
Conclusion: Compliance with the Sex Offenders Registration Act in Victoria is crucial for the safety and well-being of the community. Understanding the obligations, adhering to registration requirements, and managing life within the boundaries of the law are essential for individuals subject to SORA.
Emma Turnbull Lawyers can provide expert legal guidance and support to navigate the complexities of SORA and ensure compliance. If you or someone you know requires assistance or legal advice regarding the Sex Offenders Registration Act, contact our experienced team today.
About the Directors:
Emma Turnbull is a passionate advocate for justice, equality, and empowerment. With her deep commitment to making a positive impact, she has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of individuals facing prosecution by the State and promoting social change.
“I firmly believe that each and every one of us has the power to create meaningful change. It starts by finding our voices, standing up for what is right, and ensuring that everyone, whether they have a five day or three month jury trial, receives a fair hearing. My goal is that win or lose, every client feels they have received a fair trial, with their voice heard and their best defence put forward.”
Adrian Lewin is a seasoned criminal lawyer renowned for his unwavering dedication to defending the rights of individuals facing legal challenges. With his extensive experience and expertise in criminal law, Adrian has successfully represented clients in a wide range of complex cases. Known for his strategic thinking and meticulous preparation, he tirelessly fights for justice, ensuring that every client receives the strongest possible defence.