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What are the sex offender registration requirements in Ontario?

The law in Ontario requires any resident who has been convicted of a designated sex offence to register with the province's sex offender registry. Individuals who have been convicted of sex crimes in other provinces or outside of Canada must also register.

An individual listed on the registry must periodically report to police. The duration of the reporting requirement depends on the number of offences and the maximum sentence after conviction. For an individual who was convicted of only one sex offence and whose sentence was less than 10 years, reporting is generally required for 10 years. A sentence of more than 10 years or being convicted of multiple offences will generally result in a lifetime reporting requirement.

An individual convicted of a sex crime is required to register with police in person. This initial registration should be done within seven days after completing the prison sentence. The initial registration must also be done within seven days if the person was convicted of a designated sex offence but was not sentenced to prison.

Even if a person has been found not criminally responsible for a sex crime because of a mental disorder, he or she may still be required to register with police within seven days of the decision.

Reporting to police within seven days is also required if the individual changes addresses, changes names, becomes an Ontario resident, returns to Ontario after living elsewhere, or will cease to be an Ontario resident within seven days.

In addition to initial reporting, an individual convicted of sex crime must also report to police annually.

Not complying with sex offender registration requirements can result in serious penalties, including up to a $25,000 fine and a prison sentence.

Having to register as a sex offender is only one negative consequence of a sex crime conviction. To learn more about minimizing negative consequences, please visit the sex crime defence overview of Neuberger & Partners LLP.

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