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Discovering A Sex Offender Lives In The Area: What To Avoid

Buying a house in an affluent neighborhood might have made so many of your dreams come true that when you're notified of a convicted sex offender living nearby, you feel devastated. You can't just pick up your entire family and move away because of one person, and your fears may prompt you to take drastic action that you'll regret. Avoid these mistakes and attempt to think rationally.

Ignoring Notification Meeting

You might be disgusted about the entire situation. When news arrives that a local notification meeting is scheduled, you may not think it's worth attending. After all, you might reason, they're still there and they're a sex offender. What more do you need to know?

For starters, the meeting should answer a number of inquiries which could ease at least one or two of your fears. For instance, they will mention the person's specific crimes. The person might only be at the residence for half the year with a primary residence elsewhere. You'll be given contact information for parole officers and others tasked with monitoring the person. Do some thinking about what you want to know at the meeting and arrive with a question list so you remember them.

Confronting Them with Large Groups

Other parents may be talking about this situation, and they may try to enlist you in somewhat of a crime-fighting posse that will venture to the sex offender's house and confront them. The thinking may be that everyone needs to be able to recognize their face, and that they may be so intimidated by such a big group that they think again before they commit any more crimes. However, while you might be right about intimidation, it's not the best action to take.

Instead, if you visit at all, walk up to their door with a few people at most. Introduce yourselves and make it clear that you hope their behavior has changed but everyone is aware of their past and paying attention.

Not Telling Children

You might not want to introduce your kids to this kind of information, but to ensure their safety, you must. You need not get into specifics, but you can describe what the person looks like and go over ways for them to behave safely outside the home. Checking in after they've walked from school, going home with others and walking routes that avoid the offender's house are some ideas.

Don't allow your fear to rule you when learning of a sex offender's presence. Discuss this with sex crime lawyers nearby, like Gonzales, Joe D, who will let you know what proper actions to take.