West Virginia Sex Offender Laws and Regulations
The West Virginia State Code 15-12 deals with the registration of sex offenders and authorizes the electronic release of information regarding certain sex offenders. The law stating this regulation can be found at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/.
Intent and Findings
Article 15-12 of the West Virginia Code was written to protect the public from sex offenders by forcing these offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies, and allowing the public access to information on the offenders' status and locations. The intent of this code is not to punish offenders; the code is regulatory rather than penal.
In writing this code, the state legislature stated that it is necessary to inform the public about the status of sex offenders. The information about these offenders will help the public to adequately protect themselves and their children from sexual predators. The legislature declares that any sex offenders who have registered as per the instructions of the code should expect reduced privacy because of the necessity of providing some of their information to the public.
The provisions of the article apply both prospectively and retroactively. Any individual who has been convicted of any sexual offense or attempted sexual offense, or has been found not guilty of a sexual crime by reason of mental illness, addiction, or mental retardation, must register with the state of West Virginia.
Registration of Sex Offenders
Sex offenders should register under the West Virginia Police Department in the county where he or she lives, is employed, and attends school. They should provide certain information as required by the law:
1) Full name, aliases, nicknames, or any other names that is used by the registrants
2) Address of residence at the time of registration
3) Social security number of the registrants
5) A brief description of the registrant's crimes
6) Fingerprints for identification
7) Information regarding any motor vehicles or any other mode of transportation that the registrant possesses, including the make, model, license plate number and color
8) Information related to any Internet accounts, user names, or aliases the registrant uses on the Internet
9) Information regarding paging device or telephone numbers that the registrant uses, including, residential, work and mobile numbers
Those identified as sexual predators, as per the West Virginia Code 15-12, must also provide:
1) Physical characteristics and identifiers
2) The history of the offense
3) Any treatment that is received by the offender due to any mental abnormality or disorder, with required documentation
Allotted Time Periods and Duration of Registration
Sex offenders must register with the state within three days of release from prison, within ten working days of moving into the state, and within ten working days of changing address. Out of state offenders who are visiting West Virginia for 15 consecutive days must also register. Address verification is very important for those classified as sexual predators. If an individual does not comply with registration laws, his or her punishment may include a fine of between $250 and 10,000, imprisonment in the county jail for a year, or both.
If one is convicted of felony of second or subsequent offense, the prison term can go up to one to five years. Third time felony offenses carry a sentence of five to 25 years, while second time felony offenses carry a penalty of ten to 25 year of imprisonment.
For more information, you can visit the official West Virginia State Police website at http://www.wvstatepolice.com. The State Police office is located at:
725 Jefferson Road So.
Charleston, WV 25309-1698
Phone: 304 746 2100.