It might seem silly to talk about Halloween fun on a criminal defense blog. From a legal perspective though, Halloween does present an opportunity to stress just how drastically a sex crime conviction can change a person’s life.
Sex crimes are such serious business because they not only can land Tennessee individuals in prison and with a life of stigma; but they also lead to the sex offender registry requirement. The Tennessee Department of Correction is taking the stigma and rules regarding those on the state’s sex offender registry even further this Halloween.
So what kinds of tricks and treats does the TDOC have in store for those who’ve had to register as sex offenders in Tennessee?
Hopefully, those on the registry are not big fans of Halloween and the typical festivities associated with the holiday. Basically, those on the sex offender registry are not allowed to open their doors to trick-or-treaters. They are not even supposed to have a home that looks welcoming to trick-or-treaters. That means front lights off and no decorations.
Specifically, between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM on Oct. 31, the TDOC requires that men and women on the state’s registry only open their doors to law enforcement. They shouldn’t wear costumes or attend Halloween parties or similar events.
The registry limits are already complicated enough before authorities add even more specifics on a holiday. Violating these sex offender registry rules can lead to more serious punishment. Someone trying to simply live his or her life after a sex crime conviction can feel like there is no escaping their past and as though authorities are always trying to catch them doing something wrong.
What this should tell you or someone you know is that a sex crimes arrest is more than a threat of potential incarceration. It is a threat against one’s personal freedoms, even in terms of how they can celebrate a day as trivial as Halloween.
A criminal defense lawyer who has experience fighting the most serious sex crimes cases is crucial in the effort to safeguard your rights and your freedoms. Don’t hesitate to seek a forceful defense if you’ve been accused of a sex offense.