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Wisconsin Megan’s Law

The federal law regarding community notification of a sex offender is known as the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994. This federal law requires those convicted of sex crimes against children to notify law enforcement of address changes or employment changes after a release from prison or from a psychiatric ward. Convicted sex offenders must follow this law for at least 10 years following release from custody, but in some cases offenders are subjected to this law permanently.

Megan’s Law is the name of a set of laws in the United States which require authorities in individual states to make certain information about registered sex offenders available to the public. Each state decides what information will be made public and how the information will be circulated.

In Wisconsin, Megan’s Law states that adult and juvenile sex offenders who were sentenced, in an institution, discharged, or supervised on or after 12/25/1993 must register with the State Department of Corrections. The state collects the offender’s:

  • Name
  • Aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Identifying information
  • Crime
  • Date of conviction
  • County or state of offense
  • Date of release
  • Current address
  • Place of employment
  • Place of school enrollment
  • DNA sample

Offenders must register before their release from prison, within 10 days after placement in supervision, or before coming to Wisconsin from a different state. Any change in address, school enrollment, or employment must be reported before the change takes place, and at least 10 days prior to relocation to a different state. Most offenders must register for 15 years with one conviction, but for life for multiple convictions or in conjunction with certain crimes.

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A wrongful conviction for a sexual offense can have extreme and far-reaching consequences. If you have been charged with a sexual offense, contact the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595 for the representation you need.