One of the things that individuals here in North Carolina who have been convicted of a sex crime face is having to register as a sex offender. Status as a registered sex offender can affect what jobs a person can get and where they can live. It also can have major reputation effects. The reputation effects have become particularly amplified as new technologies have made it easier for the public to access the information on the state’s sex offender registry.
For example, authorities here in North Carolina have created an app which allows members of the public to access up-to-date information from the sex offender registry from their phones.
The app is available for download on the website of the state’s Department of Justice. When the phone the app is on has its GPS function on, the app will show the locations of all registered sex offenders who live within a five-mile radius of where the phone is. The app allows the user to view a variety of information regarding the registered sex offenders whose locations are within the above-mentioned proximity radius, including: their names, their addresses, the crimes they were convicted of, photos of them and their physical descriptions.
A conviction on a sex offense and the punishments that go along with it (such as being required to register as a sex offender) can alter a person’s life in a great many ways. The high-stakes nature of sex crime cases is one of the reasons why having an experienced defense attorney in one’s camp to protect one’s rights can be incredibly important when a person is going through criminal proceedings related to sex crime allegations.
Source: Elkin Tribune, “Mobile app tracks Elkin sex offenders,” Anthony Gonzalez, Jan. 2, 2014