Offender Law and Legal Definition

Offender means a defendant in a criminal case or a person convicted of a crime. Many state and local court allow computer searches to be conducted on offenders. Some states also have laws requiring sex offenders to be registered in order to alert the community where they reside to have notice that a sexual predator is nearby.

In general, the criminal records of offenders are public records. However, in some instances, state laws, which vary by stare, allow for the sealing or expungment of offender records.