Where You Can Live As A Registered Sex Offender

If you are convicted of a sex crime and placed on the sex offender registry, you will not simply be facing consequences in the criminal justice system. The rest of your life may be dictated by certain limitations set in place by Iowa law.

Registered sex offenders face restrictions on where they can live, where they can work and even where they can be present at all. The following information provides more specific detail on how the sex offender registry could influence your living arrangements, but remember that every case is different. It is important to understand the law as it pertains to your specific circumstances.

Get the strong defense you need. Contact attorney Peter Berger of Berger Law Firm, P.C., in Urbandale to arrange a free initial consultation. Our office can be reached online or by telephone at 515-288-8888 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.

If I Am on the Sex Offender Registry, Will I Have to Move? Where Can I Live?

Iowa Code states that a sex offender in Iowa cannot reside within 2,000 feet of realty comprising a school or a child care facility. However, the Iowa Code also states that, "a sex offender residing within two thousand feet of the real property comprising a school or a child-care facility does not commit a violation of this section if any of the following apply:

  • The sex offender is required to serve a sentence at a jail, prison, juvenile facility, or other correctional institution or facility.
  • The sex offender is subject to an order of commitment under chapter 229A.
  • The sex offender has established a residence prior to July 1, 2002.
  • The sex offender has established a residence prior to any newly located school or child care facility being established.
  • The sex offender is a minor.
  • The sex offender is a ward in a guardianship, and a district judge or associate probate judge grants an exemption from the residency restriction.
  • The sex offender is a patient or resident at a health care facility as defined in section 135C.1 or a patient in a hospice program, and a district judge or associate probate judge grants an exemption from the residency restriction."

What if I Want to Go on Vacation?

In addition to the required registration provisions, the law states that "a sex offender, within five business days of a change, shall also appear in person to notify the sheriff of the county of principal residence, of any location in which the offender is staying when away from the principal residence of the offender for more than five days, by identifying the location and the period of time the offender is staying in such location."

What Happens if I Move?

When a sex offender moves into or within a school district, the county sheriff of the offender's new residence is required to provide relevant information readily available to the general public to the administrative office of the school district in which the registered offender resides.