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Michigan SORA Removal: Everything You Need to Know

Your life may drastically change if you are convicted of sexual violence. Sexual violence occurs when an activity is a non-consensual sexual act, or it involves a minor. Sex crimes include statutory rape, child sexual abuse, indecent exposure, gross indecency, child sexually abusive activity, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

Not only would you face a prison sentence, but you may also be required to pay a fine or both. Most sex crime convictions also attract severe punishments, like community service, probation, and lifetime electronic monitoring. In addition, the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) requires any person convicted of a sex offense in Michigan to register with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry is a government database of all sex offenders in the state. While registering as a sex offender in Michigan has devastating consequences, such registration may not be permanent. In some cases, you may be allowed to petition to remove your record as a sex offender. However, the process of sex offender registry removal is complex and tedious.

The court considers several factors when determining whether to grant a sex offender registry removal petition. The severity of the offense is often a deciding factor for granting such removal. Also, the court determines whether the petition should be granted depending on the classification of the crime as a Tier 1 sex offender, Tier 2 sex offender, or Tier 3 sex offender offense. Learn more about the sex offender tier levels here.

You need legal assistance to file a successful petition. The criminal justice system is complicated, and without the expertise of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you may find the sex offender registry removal process confusing and overwhelming.

Blank Law, PC is a top Michigan criminal defense law firm specializing in sex crimes, including rape, gross indecency, and child sexual abuse. Our services extend to clients in Grand Rapids, Detroit, and all over Michigan’s lower peninsula. We work with registered sex offenders to determine their eligibility to have their criminal history with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry erased. We also guide them through the removal process.

Our legal team is eager to assist you, or your loved ones, to remove your record from the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. By creating an attorney-client relationship with us, we can provide all the legal aid you require during this process. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Michigan SORA Removal

Sex offender registration is a mandatory penalty for everyone guilty of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in Michigan. Therefore, anyone convicted of criminal sexual conduct 1st degree, criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree, criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, or criminal sexual conduct 4th degree must register in Michigan.

In addition, those convicted of child sexual abuse or deliberately possessing child sexually abusive material, i.e. child pornography, may be required to register as sex offenders. Also, people convicted of gross indecency of a male below 17 or gross indecency of a female below 17 must comply with the registration requirement. Those convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, indecent exposure, and certain kidnapping offenses must register as sex offenders too.

The sex offender registry maintains private and public criminal records of sex offenders in Michigan. The private sex offender registry is unavailable to members of the public. Only the Michigan State Police can access the database. However, anyone can access the public sexual offender registry and see the criminal records.

Many offenders frequently attempt to avoid or skip registration. Failure to register is a severe offense in Michigan. It does not matter if such a failure was accidental or deliberate. A failure to register as a sex offender offense may be in the form of refusing to pay the registration fee, sign, provide the registry with the requisite information, or verify such information within the specified deadline. Failing to register may be considered a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.

Anyone registering with the  Sex Offender Registry must furnish the following information:

●       Name

●       Date of birth

●       Temporary house address

●       Permanent house address

●       Social security number

●       Place of education

●       Name and address of employer

●       Any other relevant workplace information

You can also be asked for details regarding your car, license plate, or intended out-of-state trip itinerary. It would be best to consult with law enforcement agents or sex offender lawyers when registering.

The duration for maintaining a criminal record with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry is determined by the severity and classification of the offense. For some sex crimes, you may be able to erase your record after 15 years. Some other sex crimes have longer durations, and some offenses carry a permanent registration. Therefore, you should consult a CSC defense attorney to determine the duration of being registered. Contact us for a free consultation.

Are You Eligible to Petition the Removal of Your Record From the Michigan Sex Offenders Registry?

In some cases, you may be eligible to petition the removal of your record from Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registry. Some other cases make you eligible to petition for a reduction of the duration of registration.

You are eligible to petition the removal of your record if:

  • It is a Romeo and Juliet case
  • You were convicted as a juvenile below 14 and not tried as an adult
  • You were convicted as a juvenile between the ages of 14 to 16 for a crime that is not a Tier III offense and not tried as an adult
  • The offense is no longer considered an offense under Michigan sex crime laws
  • You are no longer considered a threat to public safety

Although an offender may be ineligible to petition a removal from the sex offender registry due to their peculiar circumstances, they may be eligible to petition for a shorter registration duration. Those eligible for a reduction in the registration period are:

  • Juveniles between 14 and 16 who committed a Tier III crime and have not committed a subsequent offense are required to register on the private registry for life. However, they may be able to petition for removal after 25 years.
  • Anyone convicted of a Tier I offense must register for 15 years. However, if they have not committed a subsequent offense within ten years of registration, they are eligible to petition for removal.

If you are unsure about the category your case fits, it will help to speak with a criminal sexual conduct attorney. Our legal team at Blank Law, PC, is willing and available to assist you. Contact us to schedule a free case consultation.

What is the Romeo and Juliet Law in Michigan?

Generally, Michigan criminal law does not prohibit any consensual sexual act. However, it is unlawful for a child below the legal age of consent to engage in a sexual act. Therefore, statutory rape occurs when a child below 16 participates in sexual conduct involving sexual penetration.

It does not matter if the child gives consent because the law considers minors below 16 incapable of consenting to sexual acts. Therefore, when an older teenager above 16 engages in a sexual act involving sexual penetration with a minor below 16, the former will be charged with and can be convicted of statutory rape, i.e. CSC 3rd degree Michigan. This is a Romeo and Juliet case.

Once the offender is convicted, they must register as a sex offender. However, under the Romeo and Juliet law, a minor convicted of statutory rape can have their record erased from the registry. Based on this law, convicted sex offenders of statutory rape, who were merely innocent consenting adolescents at the time of the offense, can have their records as sex offenders permanently erased.

The offender must submit a petition for removal before the court. The court grants the petition for removal if all the following factors exist:

  • The alleged victim had “consented” to the act
  • The victim was a person 13 thru 15 years old at the time of the offense
  • The offender was at most four years older than the victim

The Romeo and Juliet law also applies if all these factors are present:

  1. The offender was convicted of:
  • Sodomy or a crime against nature involving a victim below 18
  • Gross indecency against a victim between 13 and 17
  • CSC 2nd degree and the victim is under the Michigan Department of Corrections custodial authority or an actor of the department
  1. The victim was not under the offender’s custodial authority at the time of the crime
  2. The victim was at least 16 at the time the crime occurred

The presence of these factors does not guarantee an automatic removal. The court will schedule a hearing date to determine if the petition will be granted. You would need legal assistance at this stage, so you should hire a rape defense attorney. Blank Law, PC is ready to assist you to get the best outcome. Call us at (248) 5156583 24/7/365 for a free consultation.

What Does the Court Consider in Determining Whether to Grant a Petition for Removal from the Registry?

When a petition for removal is filed, the court determines whether or not to grant it based on some factors. They include:

  • The age and maturity level of the offender at the time the crime occurred
  • The age and maturity level of the victim at the time the crime occurred
  • The nature of the offense
  • The gravity of the crime
  • Previous criminal record
  • The likelihood of committing further listed offenses
  • Any impact statement submitted by the victim
  • Other information the court deems relevant

Who is a Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III Michigan Sex Offender?

Sex offenses under the SORA are classified into three tiers. Tier I covers minor offenses, while Tier III covers the most severe offenses. Tier II covers the other offenses.

A Tier I offender is guilty of indecent exposure with self-fondling, CSC 4th degree, child pornography, or unlawfully restraining or imprisoning a minor. A petition for removal may be granted to a Tier I offender if any of these factors apply:

  • Ten or more years have passed since the date of conviction or the date of release from prison, whichever occurred later
  • Since the date above, you have not been guilty of felonies
  • Since your release date, you have not been found guilty of any of the mentioned offenses
  • You successfully finished the duration of parole, probation, or supervised release
  • You completed a sex offender treatment program if it was a condition of your imprisonment, release, probation, or parole

A Tier II offender is guilty of enticing, accosting, or solicitation of a minor for unlawful purposes, 2nd degree CSC, sodomy, or a crime against nature if the victim is between 13 and 18. Tier II offenders aged between 13 to 16 are not required to register as sex offenders.

Tier III offenders are guilty of CSC 1st degree, CSC 3rd degree, gross indecency between males with the victim under 13, gross indecency between females with the victim below 13, or gross indecency between males and females with the victim below 13. A properly filed petition for removal may be granted to Tier III offenders if the following apply:

  • The Tier III offender has a public sex offender record
  • 25 or more years have passed since the conviction date or the date of release from prison, whichever is later
  • Since his or her release date, the offender has not been found guilty of any of the mentioned offenses
  • You successfully finished the duration of parole, probation, or supervised release
  • You completed a sex offender treatment program if it was a condition of your imprisonment, release, probation, or parole

Choose the Right Attorney: Hire Top Michigan Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Nicole Blank Becker

If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Michigan, you must register as a sex offender. The consequences of sex offender registration are dire and long-lasting. Therefore, you should file a petition for removal as soon as possible.

Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is a renowned sex crime defence lawyer in Michigan. Having worked as a prosecutor in the Sex Crimes Unit of Macomb County, Nicole possesses a unique advantage over other sexual assault lawyers. She has worked with several criminal defendants and can assist you with filing a petition to have your record as a Michigan sex offender removed.

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Since you have just one opportunity to apply for a sex offender registration removal, you should ensure that you work with the best sexual abuse lawyers. Nicole is willing to work with you to ensure the best outcome in your case. Contact us for a free consultation now.

3150 Livernois Rd. Suite 126
Troy, MI 48083
(248) 515-6583

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