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Registration of a Sex Offender When travelling Under PA's Adam Walsh Act

Designated registrant's must register when traveling under PA's Adam Walsh Act.


Effective December 20, 2012, those offenders who are designated as Tier I, II or III registrants must register at an approved registration site when traveling for leisure, either at home or abroad, or for employment purposes. An "approved registration site" is defined as follows:

"Approved registration site." A site in this Commonwealth approved by the Pennsylvania State Police at which individuals subject to this subchapter may comply with this subchapter. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.12.

Under the new Act a "residence" is defined as follows:

"Residence." A location where an individual resides or is domiciled or intends to be domiciled for 30 consecutive days or more during a calendar year. The term includes a residence which is mobile, including a houseboat, mobile home, trailer or recreational vehicle. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.12.

However, one need not be a permanent resident to be required to register. It also impacts those who are obtaining "temporary lodging" as defined in the statute:

"Temporary lodging." The specific location, including street address, where a sexual offender is staying when away from the sexual offender's residence for seven or more days. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.12.

42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.15(g), provides that upon commencement of such "temporary lodging", the registrant must notify the State Police of their length of stay, dates of travel and location.

A commencement of temporary lodging, a change in temporary lodging or a termination of temporary lodging. In order to fulfill the requirements of this paragraph, the individual must provide the specific length of time and the dates during which the individual will be temporarily lodged.

A registrant must also notify the State Police when they anticipate travel outside the Country. This must be done 21 days prior to travel. A "foreign country" is later defined.

(i) International travel.--In addition to the periodic in-person appearance required in subsection (e), an individual specified in section 9799.13 shall appear in person at an approved registration site no less than 21 days in advance of travelling outside of the United States. The individual shall provide the following information: (1) Dates of travel, including date of return to the United States. (2) Destinations. (3) Temporary lodging.

"Foreign country." Includes Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and a foreign country where the United States Department of State in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has concluded that an independent judiciary enforced the right to a fair trial in that country during the calendar year in which the individual's conviction occurred. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.12.

Finally, travel for leisure and travel for work, both require that the registrant notify the State Police at an approved registration site of their itinerary. "Employed" is further defined by the Act.

"Employed." Includes a vocation or employment that is full time or part time for a period of time exceeding four days during a seven-day period or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 14 days during any calendar year, whether self-employed, volunteered, financially compensated, pursuant to a contract or for the purpose of governmental or educational benefit. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9799.12.

If you have questions regarding compliance with the new Act in PA, contact an experienced attorney to seek counsel prior to making an error that could cost you your freedom. You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC (717) 268-4287 to us today.