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Do I Need to Register with the Tennessee TBI Sexual Offender Registry?

November 30, 2022

Distinguishing Between Mandatory and Elective Crimes

Man defending against sexual accusation. Sex offender registry. Sex crime attorneys.

Hagar & Phillips often represents those who have been charged with crimes that could require the individual to register as a sex offender if they are ultimately convicted. Like many other states, Tennessee requires those convicted of designated sexual offenses to register for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) Sex Offender Registry.

In some cases, a conviction for a certain sexual offense requires mandatory registration on the sexual offender’s registry. Mandatory registration means that, regardless of the facts of the case or other circumstances, the individual who was convicted is absolutely required to register as a sex offender if they were convicted of an applicable crime.

The list of sexual offenses which result in mandatory registration is long and extensive. Typically, convicted individuals must register 10 years after the expiration of their sentence.

Mandatory Requirements of the TN Sex Offender Registration

The sexual offenses for which a conviction carries a mandatory requirement of registration include:

  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • False imprisonment where the victim is a minor (except when committed by a parent of the minor)
  • Kidnapping where the victim is a minor (except when committed by the parent of the minor
  • Indecent exposure (if the third or subsequent conviction for the same offense)
  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Aggravated statutory rape
  • Soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor (by electronic means)
  • Promotion of prostitution
  • Patronizing prostitution where the victim is a minor
  • Observation without consent (if the third or subsequent conviction for the same offense or where the offense is classified as a Class E felony)
  • Unlawful photographing
  • Sexual contact with inmates
  • Aggravated unlawful photography
  • Sexual abuse of a corpse

Convictions for Violent Sexual Offenses

Convictions for “violent sexual offenses” also require mandatory registration on the sexual offender registry. However, these convictions require individuals to remain on the sex offender registry for life, rather than for a certain period of time. Offenses that are considered violent sexual offenses include:

  • Aggravated rape
  • Rape
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Rape of a child
  • Attempt to commit rape
  • Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Aggravated kidnapping where the victim is a minor
  • Especially aggravated kidnapping where the victim is a minor
  • Sexual battery by an authority figure
  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Spousal rape
  • Aggravated spousal rape
  • Criminal exposure to HIV
  • Statutory rape by an authority figure
  • Incest
  • Aggravated rape of a child
  • Aggravated prostitution
  • Trafficking for a commercial sex act
  • Promotion of prostitution
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Criminal attempt, solicitation, conspiracy, criminal responsibility, facilitating the commission of, or being an accessory after the fact to any of the above offenses.

Judge Discretion to Order Sex Offender Registration

Convictions for a few sexual offenses do not require mandatory registration on the sexual offender registry. Instead, these convictions allow for the presiding judge to determine whether to order registration as part of sentencing. Offenses in this category include first-time convictions for statutory rape and misdemeanor unlawful photographing. In these cases, it is within the judge’s discretion to order registration, and in doing so, the judge will consider the facts and circumstances of the case, including the originally charged offense and whether the conviction was the result a of plea bargain agreement, to determine whether to require the individual convicted to register as a sex offender or not.

Contact a Trusted Wilson County Lawyer

For more information about the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, you can speak with the best attorneys in Lebanon, TN by contacting Hagar & Phillips for a confidential consultation at 615-784-4588.


Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, FAQ: Who is required to register on the Tennessee sex offender registry?
See T.C.A. 39-15-506(d)
See T.C.A. § 39-13-605


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