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Sex Crimes Lawyers in Harrisburg

Helping You Understand SORNA & the Adam Walsh Act

When a person is convicted of a sex crime, they are typically required to register as a sex offender as part of their punishment. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is a federal statute which was signed in 2006. This act increased registration requirements for sex offenders and created a national sex offender registry that organized sex offender data on the internet. It also created a federal felony offense for those who fail to adhere to Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requirements to register as a sex offender. At Shaffer & Engle, we work with clients who have been accused of sex crimes as well as those charged with violating SORNA requirements.

To learn how our firm can assist with your criminal charges, please reach out to our Harrisburg sex crimes lawyers at (717) 268-4287.

How Does the Adam Walsh Act Affect Registration?

This act serves to organize sex offenders into three tiers and regulates how offenders must register their information after a conviction. If offenders fail to update their information or register, they may be charged with a felony offense. Currently, eight states in the United States are in compliance with the Adam Walsh Act, including Pennsylvania.

Registration requirements are organized into three main categories:

  • Tier III: Offenders in the most serious tier, Tier III, adhere to lifetime registration requirements, including updating their location every three months. This category includes non-parental kidnapping of a minor child, sexual acts with a child under 12 years old, and sex acts with someone who was rendered unconscious or couldn't consent.
  • Tier II: Tier II offenders are required to have 25 years of registration and to update their whereabouts every 6 months. This category may include crimes such as those involving minors in sexual contact, using a minor in a sexual performance or prostitution, and the production of child pornography.
  • Tier I: Tier I offenders have 15 years of registration with updates required every year. This category includes less severe crimes which do not fall under either Tier II or Tier III.

Have You Been Charged with a Sex Crime?

With the changes made to the Adam Walsh Act, the consequences you may face as a sex offender could significantly increase. If you were charged with a sex crime or have already been convicted of a sex crime, sex offender registry terms may be confusing. If you are facing charges for a sex crime, you are looking at the possibility of decades of reporting, restrictions on where you can work and live, and a tarnished reputation. At Shaffer & Engle, we help clients who have been charged with sex crimes, relentlessly fighting for your rights and future.

To speak with a Harrisburg sex crimes lawyer, call us at (717) 268-4287. We also serve clients throughout Dauphin County.

What Our
Clients Have to Say

  • Jeff advised me appropriately and always responded to my calls promptly.

    “At the law offices of Shaffer & Engle, my case was handled with professionalism, compassion, and dedication. Facing criminal charges was a very frightening experience to me, but I knew I was in good hands with Jeff Engle. I had no past experiences with the judicial system. I felt I was treated with courtesy and dignity. Jeff did everything within his legal powers to provide a great service when I was in need. From my experience with Jeff, he has been more than a lawyer; he is now considered a great new friend of my family. He took a personal interest in my case and for that I am eternally grateful. Jeff always delivered on what he said to me and did everything he set out to do. Jeff fought the prosecutor (DA) every step of the way without hesitation. Jeff advised me appropriately and always responded to my calls promptly. What could have been a truly awful situation was resolved completely to my satisfaction. I am available at any time to address any questions with respect to Jeff Engle as an attorney or as a person. I hold him in the highest regard. If anyone ever wanted to see the definition of what a true attorney is...they should be able to open up a dictionary and see a picture of Jeff next to it. I would and will recommend him and his law firm to anyone looking for a knowledgeable and aggressive law firm or criminal defense attorney.”

    Tara K

  • He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator.

    “I came to Shaffer & Engle Law Offices searching for hope after I entered a plea in my criminal case. I had a false allegation filed against me for a sexual offense that I did not commit. I was involved with another lawyer for 2 ½ years, when it came down to day before court we felt he was not prepared to represent me. I either took the plea of "Nolo Contendere" or went to jail the day of the trial. I felt trapped. I had this allegation against me and I was innocent. I met with the Attorney Engle. He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator. He offered to represent me and quickly moved to withdraw my guilty plea. That was granted by the court and we proceeded to prepare for trial. They uncovered many things that our other lawyer did not bother to investigate. They met with character witnesses after hours to make sure my defense would be solid. Long story short, the DA in my case withdrew the charges. I went from a convicted man to completely being vindicated. Shaffer and Engle Law Offices also were able to assist me in another matter relating to the criminal case, but in civil court. The same results, all charges were dismissed. I appreciate the work they did, their prompt service, care and attention they showed to me and my family. I found their services to be affordable when compared to what they did for me. I would highly recommend them for anyone charged with a crime that they did not do.”



    “Elisabeth helped me through the most traumatic turning point in my life where I felt so alone and had no support except the fact that I needed to get through my disposition to ensure I would be able to continue to excel in my college studies and provide a better life for my young daughter who I am raising alone. Elisabeth provided me with encouraging words and any possible leads she had come across. I was amazed at how caring she was regarding matters outside of the actual case! After court, Thanks to Elisabeth, I was able to come home and continue to be a rock for my family. Since, I have recently ran out of funding 29 credits shy of my degree but still proud to finish the last semester with a 4.0 gpa making the Deans List five times still maintain work having also begun raising my orphaned seventeen year old god daughter who I came to know as one of the trouble kids at my local Boys & Girls Club where I was hired after completing the community service requirements in my case. I do not receive any financial help from government programs for my budding family but I begged for Elisabeth to take money for her exceptional service and she refused. I am forever grateful for her kindness and love each time that I look at my girls. She treated me like family and she didn't have to, she believed in me and encouraged me and stayed true to her word and I genuinely love and appreciate her for that beyond words. I trusted her with a long shot and she hit it out of the parking lot! Like my title says BEYOND AMAZING...”

    Jaimeen A.

  • Jeff presents himself as a very knowledgeable and able attorney with sincere personal interest in the success of your case.

    “From the minute you call Jeff Engle's office, you are treated with first class respect and service. Jeff is very up front about his experience, results and belief in the success or possible issues with your case. From the time of retainment, Jeff's use of electronic forms of communication keep you up to date to the minute whenever there are developments and progress in your case. This type of communication is nearly unheard of in ANY profession. Many times, I knew that Jeff was taking his personal time to communicate with me. Jeff presents himself as a very knowledgeable and able attorney with sincere personal interest in the success of your case. During times of uncertainty, having someone of Jeff's demeanor at your side will simply make you feel that no matter what the outcome may be, he is right there with you. There was not one time during the course of my case that I felt Jeff was not thoughtful and prepared for. I cannot say enough for the level of professionalism this man presents while representing you as a client.”


  • We are not seen as clients but instead as one of her family member. And for that, I admire and adore her work ethic and ability to help the community.

    “ I would definitely recommend her to anyone who needs her help. Her determination is outstanding.”