Legal Question in Criminal Law in Tennessee

If a person from tennessee is a registered sex offender for a statutory rape offense and is put on probation for a crime that had nothing to do with any sex offense crime if any sort, why does that person have to attend a sex offense class? And also why is that person on the Sex Offender Registry to begin with since the crime was not a violent crime?

Asked on 6/04/13, 11:27 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Answering the last part of the question first: Tennessee has made fairly recent changes in Sex Offender Registration requirements for persons convicted of statutory rape. Registration may not even be required, so consult the defense attorney who originally handled the case. In some cases, those who were once required to be on the Sexual Offender Registry are no longer required to be on the registry, and can be removed by filing an application to the Department of Correction.

Second: Tennesse standard rules of probation recite that if a person was ever in their life convicted of a sex offense, and are later placed on probation for any offense (sexual or not) then that person must follow the strict rules of probation that apply to sex offenders. Most probation officers blindly issue those standard rules, and most defendant's blindly follow them.

But a Defendant is not placed under rules of probation by the probation officer, they are placed under rules of probation by order of the court (the judge). Conditions of probation can only be placed by a judge, and are then enforced by the probation officer. If a probation officer is attempting to impose requirements not ordered by the judge, then the Defendant should march back into court and have the judge correct the probation officer.

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Answered on 6/05/13, 4:03 pm

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