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Prince William County Criminal Defendant Gets a Second Chance to Argue Case, But Ultimately Fails to Convince Court to Grant Appeal

Recently, a court of appeals in Virginia was faced with the decision of whether or not to remove a defendant’s name and identifying information from the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. Originally, the lower court had denied the defendant’s petition in 2021, deciding that his information would have to remain on the public registry. On appeal, the higher court agreed, ultimately keeping the defendant’s name on the list.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant pled guilty in 2001 to two counts of “crimes against nature.” While the opinion did not disclose the exact crimes the defendant committed, it did discuss the consequences that were involved. The two offenses happened on the same day, and the convictions forced the defendant to register on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. The defendant complied with the requirements necessary under the registry, and he continued updating his information yearly through 2021.

In 2021, the defendant petitioned the court to remove his name from the registry. In support of his petition, the defendant said both that he had completed sex offender treatment and that he had no other criminal convictions on his record since 2001. The lower court denied the petition, and the defendant appealed.

The Decision

On appeal, the defendant asked the court to reconsider the lower court’s denial. In Virginia, criminal defendants found guilty of one sex offense face different consequences than defendants found guilty of two sex offenses. For example, if a defendant is found guilty of one offense, he or she is eligible for removal from the registry earlier than a defendant found guilty of two separate offenses.

Here, the defendant said that the two offenses for which he was convicted happened within the span of a five-minute period. Thus, he should be eligible for the relief available to those who were only convicted of one sex crime and his identity should be removed from the sex offender registry.

The court reviewed the defendant’s argument and ultimately concluded that even if the defendant’s offenses occurred within a short time period, he still committed two separate offenses. Thus, the defendant was not eligible to be removed from the registry as he had initially argued.

The court then denied the defendant’s appeal and ordered him to remain on the Commonwealth’s sex offender registry.

Have You Been Charged with a Crime in Prince William County?

If you are facing criminal charges in Prince William County, give our office a call at Robinson Law, PLLC. At Robinson Law, we bring technical knowledge to our cases that ensures you understand how to fight the procedural aspects of your case, which sometimes can be the most difficult aspects to fight. We handle cases revolving around DUIs, assault and battery, drugs, guns, and domestic violence. For a free and confidential consultation, call our office today at (703) 844-3746.

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