Washington Sex Offender Records

What is a Sex Offender?

The term “sex offenders” refers to persons convicted of committing a sex crime listed in the state’s registry laws. The federal Sex Offender Registration Act classifies persons as sex offenders after a conviction from state or federal courts having jurisdictions of the criminal offenses. Sex offenders in Washington may register on the SOR for life or a certain period, depending on the severity of their sex offenses. Sex crimes in Washington include the following:

  • Criminal sexual conduct - first degree
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated prostitution
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Aggravated rape
  • Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Assault with intent to commit or attempt to commit rape or sexual battery
  • Criminal Sexual conduct - second degree
  • Criminal sexual conduct - third degree

Who is Considered a Sex Offender in Washington?

In Washington, a sex offender is any person convicted of a sex crime that is a Class A, B, or C felony, or a gross misdemeanor. Once convicted, an offender is required to register with the law enforcement authority in the county where they reside, school, or carry out business. Some offenses that may require registration include:

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Washington?

The state of Washington classifies sexual offenses based on the nature and severity of the crime. The following are some of the sex offenses categories

Class A Felonies

Class A felonies in Washington are very serious crimes and are punishable by over 60 years to a lifetime jail sentence. In addition, offenders may pay fines up to $50,000 as part of a court's sentence. Class A Felonies sex crimes include:

  • Aggravated rape
  • Aggravated rape of children
  • Non-parental aggravated kidnap of minors
  • False imprisonment of another.

Class B Felonies

Class B felonies in Washington are punishable by eight to 30 years jail sentence and fines up to $25,000. Sex crimes in the Class B Felonies category are:

  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Aggravated spousal rape
  • Soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor via electronic means
  • Rape
  • Trafficking for sexual servitude.

Class C Felonies

Persons convicted of Class C felonies in Washington are punishable by three to 15 years imprisonment and may pay fines of up to $10,000. The following sex crimes are in the Class C Felony category:

  • Aggravated prostitution
  • Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Criminal exposure to HIV
  • Incest
  • Sexual battery by an authority figure
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Statutory rape by an authority figure

Class D Felony

Courts in Washington may sentence persons convicted of Class D felonies to prison terms from two to 12 years. In addition, offenders may pay fines of up to $5,000. The following sex crimes in the Class D Felony category are:

  • Spousal sexual battery
  • Aggravated statutory rape
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor

Class E Felony

This category consists of the least serious sex crimes listed in the Washington registry laws. Persons convicted of Class E felonies may serve a jail term from one year to six years. In addition, offenders may pay fines of up to $3,000. Sex crimes in this category include:

  • Accessory after the fact, with the intent to hinder the conviction and trial of the offender.
  • Soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor.
  • Indecent exposure, when the victim is 18 years or older.
  • Sexual battery
  • Mitigated statutory rape
  • Statutory rape

What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in Washington?

Washington sex offenders are grouped into three levels, including Level I, Level II, and Level III. The category an offender falls into is determined by the Department of Corrections after consideration of certain factors. Important factors include the nature of the offense committed, the offender’s criminal records, and the likelihood of repeating the offense. Offenders are classified according to risk level to facilitate community notification by law enforcement agencies. Each level has peculiar registration requirements that all offenders must follow.

Level I Offenders

Level I offenders are those whose risk assessment analysis indicates a low chance of reoffense. Though Level I offenders are required to register, their records are not available to the public and cannot be found on the registry. Many persons in this category are first-time offenders.

However, the law mandates non-compliant and transient Level I offenders to register and update their information on the registry for 10 years. Information on these Level I offenders is published on the Washington sex offenders registry.

Level II Offenders

Level II offenders are those whose risk assessment analysis shows that there is a medium chance of reoffense. Offenders in this category are mandated to register and update their records on the registry for 25 years. Interested persons can access information on Level II offenders from the Washington Sex Offender Registry.

Level III Offenders

Level III offenders are considered "high risk" offenders. This is because, after a careful analysis of the lifestyle of the offenders, there is a high tendency that persons in this category will re-offend. Some Level III offenders may exhibit predatory traits and stalk victims. Offenders in this category are published on the sex offenders registry and are required to register for life.

How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Washington

The Sex Offender Registry is a database with information on registered sex offenders in the state of Washington. The registry is updated daily as sex offenders register and update their information. Residents may sign up on the website to be notified via email whenever an offender registers an address near them.

Washington Sex Offender Area Search

Residents of Washington can search for sex offenders using the area search option by providing the offender’s address, their city of residence, their state of residence as well as their zipcode

Washington Sex Offender Name Search

Using the name search option on the website, residents can lookup sex offenders by typing in their first and last names.

Washington Sex Offender City Search

Interested persons can initiate a search on the sex offender registry through the city search option. This search option provides requesters with information on the registered sex offenders in a specified city.

Washington Non-compliant Sex Offender Search

The non-compliant search option makes it possible for members of the public to access information on all non-compliant sex offenders in the state.

Interested members of the public may also obtain public record information from third-party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. In order to use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all or some of the following information:

  • The full name on the record of choice
  • The last known or current address of the named individual
  • The address of the requestor

What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in Washington?

Convicted sex offenders in the state of Washington may lose certain rights depending on the nature of the offense committed. Level III sex offenders are mandated to wear GPS tracking bracelets for real-time location monitoring, taking away their right to privacy. Violent predators and offenders convicted of a crime against children may also be required to stay away from areas where children are likely to congregate. Furthermore, sex offenders are sometimes prevented from taking up residency or working in certain locations as ruled by a court.

What is the Washington Sex Offender Registry?

The Washington Sex Offender Registry is an online repository that provides access to information on sex offenders that reside, work, or school in the state. Through the registry, members of the public can access details such as the offender's name, location, photograph, and gender. Sex offenders are required by the state to register in the county where they reside, school, run a business, or own property.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs is charged with developing and maintaining the sex offender registry. Requesters should note that the information available on the registry is restricted to registered Level II and Level III offenders. The registry only displays Level I information if the offender is transient or non-compliant.

The RCW 9a.44.130 bill passed by the Washington State Legislature requires all sex offenders to register with the Sheriff's department in the county where the offender is employed, attends school, or resides. Sex offenders in custody must register immediately after release. Other sex offenders are mandated to register with the local law enforcement agency within three working days. Depending on the offense, registration periods are ten years, fifteen years, or a lifetime.

What are the Sex Offender Laws in Washington?

Influenced by the federal Megan’s Law, the sex offender laws operational in Washington are spelled out in the Revised Code of Washington. Megan's Law is a United States law that was enacted to protect citizens from sex offenders who may pose a risk to their safety. Washington's version of Megan's Law mandates local law enforcement agencies to provide public access to records of Levels II, III, and non-compliant Level I sex offenders. All sex offenders are required to register and update their information with the local police department in the county of residence.

How Long Do Sex Offenders Have to Register in Washington?

The mandatory registration periods for convicted sex offenders, as spelled out by RCW 9A.44.140 are as follows:

  • Repeat offenders, Class A felony convicts, sex predators, and persons convicted of sex crimes against minors are to register for life.
  • Persons convicted of a Class B felony without prior convictions are to register for fifteen years from the date of release.
  • Offenders convicted of a Class C felony without prior convictions are to mandatorily register for ten years from the date of release.

Can a Sex Offender Live With Their Family in Washington?

The state of Washington places residential restrictions on sex offenders depending on the nature of the offense. Compliance with RCW 9.94A.728 and RCW 72.09.340 of the Revised Code of Washington may prevent certain offenders from living with their families. Sexual predators and felony sex offenders convicted for crimes against minors are prohibited from residing in a home where there is a child, or a residence near a school, daycare, or park. The Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) is responsible for approving living arrangements for sex offenders under their supervision and ensure compliance even if it forces offenders to live away from their families. To find out if an offender is under supervision, residents can contact the local DOC office.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Washington?

Sex offenders in the state of Washington are not mandated to notify neighbors of their registration status. However, local law enforcement agencies can notify the community when a Level II or Level III sex offender registers a new address. This notification is sent out to residents who sign up for email notifications on the sex offender registry website. The Community Protection Act (RCW 9A.44.130) also requires persons convicted of a sex offense to register in the county of residence. Members of the public can also lookup suspected sex offenders on the registry to confirm their status.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Put Up a Sign in Their Yard in Washington?

Sex offenders in the state of Washington do not have to put up signs in their yards. However, violent predators and offenders convicted of crimes against minors are subject to GPS tracking.

How Close Can a Sex Offender Live to a School in Washington?

According to RCW§ 9.94A.712(6), offenders convicted of offenses in Level II and III categories are prohibited from residing within 880 feet of a school, daycare center, or an area where children are likely to congregate. Other Washington sex offenders are not restricted from residing wherever they choose unless ordered by the court.

How to Look Up Sex Offenders in Washington

Across all the states of the U.S, information about sex offenders resident within each jurisdiction is deemed a public record. The state of Washington is no different. Pursuant to the provisions of Megan's Law, the state maintains and provides public access to the identifying information of convicted sex offenders. Megan's Law is a federal law that requires states to maintain a registry where members of the public can access the records of sex offenders. This law was passed and named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka who was murdered by a violent sex offender in 1996. The sex offenders registry also allows interested persons to also sign up for email notifications from local law enforcement agencies when a sex offender registers a nearby address.

Is Public Urination a Sex Offense in Washington?

Washington does not consider public urination a sex crime, and offenders are not required to register when convicted. Public urination is an offense classified under indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is the intentional exposure of a person’s genitals with the knowledge that such action will cause alarm. A public urination conviction can earn the offender a 90-day jail term and a fine of up to $1000. If the victim is a minor, the offender will be charged with gross misdemeanor and subject to stiffer penalties. A repeat offender may be charged with a Class C felony.

How to Report a Sex Offender in Washington?

To report a sex offender, residents may contact the county sheriff's office. Persons may also submit tips on specific sex offenders to the local law enforcement agencies on the Washington Sex Offender Registry. Complaints can also be lodged in person by visiting the address below:

Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC),
3060 Willamette Drive,
NE | Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 486-2380

According to RCW 9A.44.132 of the Washington Code of Laws, non-compliance with registration requirements is punishable according to the crime that required registration. An offender who fails to register after a felony conviction is charged with a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. If the underlying conviction is a misdemeanor, a non-compliant offender may spend up to 1 year in prison. For an offender who has been convicted at least twice for failing to register, the charge is a Class B felony, and the penalty is a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

Can You Expunge a Sex Offender Charge in Washington?

Sex offenders in the state of Washington can petition for an expungement of records, thereby restricting public access to such records. However, expungement is not possible for offenders that are required to register for life. Violent predators and persons convicted of a Class A felony involving forcible compulsion cannot have their records expunged. Other Class A felony offenders can petition for removal of the registration requirement ten years after the conviction.

Class B and C felony offenders are mandated to register for fifteen and ten years, respectively. Within this period, a petition for expungement will not be granted.

Note: Class A juvenile offenders between the ages of 15 and 17 must wait for 5 years before petitioning for expungement. For juvenile sex offenders under the age of 15, the waiting period is 2 years.