Is the Sex Offender Registry for Life?
The sex offender registry (SORA) is a database with records of convicted sexual offenders. The database of public sex offender registry was created after Megan’s Law was enacted. This law mandates that authorities be informed of sex offenders within the community and that the public can access that information.
This sex offender registration act law was formulated after 7-year old Megan Kanka was lured, raped and killed by her neighbor, a two-time child offender who had been secretly living in the community with two other sex offenders. Although it was created to prevent such incidences, being on the sex offender registry is the modern-day scarlet letter version. It haunts one every day and makes everyday life difficult. This begs the question, do sex offenders have to register on the sex registry forever? Read on to find out.
Do Sex Offenders have to Register on SORA Forever?
Unlike other crimes, sentencing for sexual related crimes does not end once the accused serves probation , jail or prison time. As soon as their standard prison sentence ends or after they complete their probation, sexual offenders in Michigan are required to register with the city or county’s Sex Offender Registration Act registry within five business days. They are also supposed to do the same immediately after they move to a new city or country. Additionally, they’re required to re-register at the public sex offender registry annually five days within their birthday. However, how long they do so varies based on the nature of the sexual offense.
In Michigan, offenders charged with criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree are often required to register with the public sex offender registry for 15 years. On the other hand, a tier II offender is required to do the same registration at public sex offender registry for the next 25 years. However, Tier III offenders, or those charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, must register at the public sex offender registry for the rest of their lives and verify their address every 90 days.
Information Sex Offenders Provide
In Michigan, sex offenders are required to provide the following information at the public sex offender registry every year;
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Last reported address
- Employment address (if any)
- Physical description
- Recent photo
- Vehicle information
- Information about the offense
This information is often posted on the Michigan sex offender registry for law enforcement purposes. However, should anyone want to find out more about the offender, they can always visit the Public Sex Offender Registry or the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). Note, the NSOPW provides information about sex offenders from all 50 states.
Although the offenders provide intricate details about themselves to the sex offender registry, the only information available to the public includes;
- The name and aliases of the offender
- Their current address
- Details of the offense
- Their Photograph
What Happens if a Sexual Offender Doesn’t Comply?
Registering with the sex offender registry every year is essentially labeling yourself a sex predator. It attracts lots of stigmas, and most offenders are often tempted to skip this part. However, it is a legal obligation to get listed at the public sex offender registry, and failing to honor it will attract a series of serious penalties. Michigan’s sex offender registry statute allows an arrest warrant to be authorized for a non-compliant offender with immediate effect.
Under section 28.729 of Michigan’s sex offender registry statute, failing to comply with the earlier mentioned registration requirements is considered a felony offense. The first time a sex offender violates their registration requirement, they are often subject to a 4-year prison sentence and may pay a fine of up to $2,000. Failure to comply attracts a 7-year jail sentence with a fine of $5,000, while willfully violating these requirements the third or subsequent times attracts a prison sentence of up to a decade and a fine of $10,000. However, if failure to register on the sex offender registry wasn’t willful, for instance, if the offender could not register on time because they got caught up at work, the offense is treated as a misdemeanor. The penalty may differ based on the judge in question.
Michigan Sex Offender Registry
Removal from Sex Offender Registry in Michigan
Being on the sex offender registry in Michigan affects your life in a lot of ways. Registered offenders often find it challenging to find jobs because employers want candidates with clean records. They may also face housing and investing restrictions.
For instance, most sex offenders in Michigan are often restricted from living or investing near schools. The good news is that while difficult, with an experienced and aggressive criminal sexual conduct attorney, a sexual offender can fight their way out of the sex offender registry. They may be eligible for removal from sex offender registry if;
It’s a Romeo and Juliet Crime
In Michigan, any individual under 16 is considered incapable of giving sexual consent. However, you may qualify for removal from the sexual offender registry if you can prove that it was a Romeo and Juliet type of sexual crime. A Romeo and Juliet sexual offense occurs when the victim is a minor who is romantically involved with the offender. You can petition for removal at the public sex offender registry if you can prove that the sex was consensual.
You Were a Juvenile
Sexual offenders in Michigan can also petition for removal from the sexual offender registry if they were juvenile when the crime occurred. The case in question wasn’t criminal sexual conduct of the first degree.
It Has Been a Decade for a Tier I Offense
If you were charged with a tier I offense and it has been more than a decade since your conviction, then you may be eligible for removal from the registry. However, you will need supporting evidence to prove that you are no longer a threat to society. It pays to have a reasonable attorney as they will guide you through the process.
Your Offense is Not Illegal Any More
If you were convicted of a CSC that is no longer categorized as an offense, your chances of removal from the sex offender registry are pretty high.
Talk to an Experienced Criminal Sex Offender Attorney in Michigan
Criminal sexual conduct cases are a pretty murky area. They are among the most serious crimes in the state of Michigan, and you can rest assured that your charges will be treated as such. In that light, note, you may be eligible for removal, or reduction but without a good attorney to help you prove so, your chances of retaining a clean record might go out the window.
That is why you need to get yourself, not just any criminal defense attorney, but one who specializes in this area. Such an attorney has been handling sexual offense cases for the longest time now and is well versed with all the ropes. They will know what to do when you run into a challenge and are familiar with some of the loopholes they can use to get you out of the sex offender registry corner.
If your petition to be removed doesn’t work out in your favor, an experienced sex crime attorney knows what to do to get your case reconsidered. Alternatively, they may utilize other options to have your name cleared. For instance, they may help you apply for a rehabilitation certificate or seek a governor’s pardon. The good news is that you don’t have to look further because attorney Nicole Blank Becker fits the description.
Contact our office today for an obligation-free consultation.