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Georgia Sex Offender Registration Act Unconstitutionally Vague As Applied to Homeless Offenders Without a Route or Street Address

Georgia’s sex offender registration law is unconstitutionally vague as applied to homeless sex offenders, the Supreme Court of Georgia decided October 27, 2008.

William Santos was charged with violating Georgia’s sex offender registration law after he failed to register a route or street address where he was living, even though he was homeless.

Santos appealed, arguing that the registration law was unconstitutionally vague.

Georgia’s registration law only required homeless offenders with a route or street to register, the court wrote. In Santos’ case, he lacked both. In such circumstances, compliance with the law was unclear.

“In the absence of any language in the statute providing direction or a standard of conduct applicable to offenders who do not possess a street or route address, we conclude [the registration law] does not provide fair warning to persons of ordinary intelligence as to what is required to comply with the statute,” the court wrote. As such the court declared the law unconstitutionally vague.

See: Santos v. State, 668 SE 2d 676, (Sup. Ct. GA 2008).

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Related legal case

Santos v. State