Now that you, or a loved one, have been required to register with SORB (the Sex Offender Registry Board) as a sex offender, your thoughts will change from how the process works to the following:
- When can I get off the Sex Offender Registry List?
- What do I need to do to get off the Sex Offender Registry List?
- Can I reduce my SORB classification level and how long do I have to wait to request a SORB reclassification?
These are all important questions that we at Sweeney & Associates can answer for you. Contact us today for a free consultation!
After being required to register, most sex offenders want to terminate their obligation to register with SORB. A sex offender may represent themselves in this process but we always recommend having an attorney represent you for the best possible chance at a successful outcome. If you hire our firm we would file a Motion to Terminate your sex offender registration obligation and would submit evidence that supports the termination including an expert psychological evaluation and risk assessment.
There are different timeframes for when a registered sex offender can move to terminate their obligation to register with SORB. Generally, when trying to terminate a sex offender’s obligation to register, the sex offender has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that he or she has not committed a sex offense within 10 years following conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or release from custody or supervision, whichever last occurs, and that he or she does not pose a risk of re-offense or a danger to the public. However, if a sex offender’s only offense stems from an adjudication as a youthful offender or as a delinquent juvenile, then the sex offender can move toterminate his obligation to register at any time. There are also certain sex offenders, however, who can never terminate their obligation to register with SORB:
- If the sex offender has been determined to be a sexually violent predator pursuant to M.G.L. c. 6, § 178K(2)(c);
- If the sex offender has been convicted of two or more sex offenses involving a child, as defined by M.G.L. c. 6, § 178C, committed on different occasions;
- If the sex offender has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, as defined by M.G.L. c. 6, § 178C; or
- f the sex offender has been convicted of a sex offense involving a child, and has not already registered for at least ten years.
How To Request Reclassification of Your Registration Obligation
While termination of a sex offender’s obligation to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board is an option, most sex offenders find more success requesting their offense level be reclassified. If you are a level 2 and are reclassified to a level 1, you no longer have to register at the police station every year and your information is never made public. If you are a level 3 and reclassified to a level 2, while you will still have to register at the police station every year, the police will no longer actively disseminate your information to neighbors, schools, and your community. A sex offender’s quality of life can greatly increase from their ability to obtain reclassification.
Timewise, a sex offender may not request a reclassification of their SORB level until three years after their final classification. If a sex offender has been convicted of a new sex offense after he or she was finally classified, then he or she must wait ten years before seeking reclassification. If a sex offender has experienced a material change in circumstances as a result of a medical condition, then he or she may file a motion for reclassification at any time.
SORB requires the sex offender to provide certain information when requesting reclassification. If you hire our attorneys at Sweeney & Associates, we will draft the Motion for Reclassification and make sure we provide SORB with all the documentation they need to make their decision. Information that the sex offender must provide includes:
- participation and/or completion of sex offender treatment,
- information related to a stable environment and support systems,
- successful completion of probation,
- the sex offender’s physical condition,
- psychological or psychiatric information related to the risk of re-offense, and
- whether the sex offender has led a substance free and offense free lifestyle.
We will also request that you obtain a psychological evaluation and risk assessment by an expert which we will submit to SORB in support of your request for reclassification. The burden is on us to prove byclear and convincing evidence that a sex offender’srisk of re-offense and the degree of dangerousness have decreased since his or her final classification.
SORB may and almost certainly will deny any motion for reclassification if:
(a) the sex offender is incarcerated;
(b) the sex offender has pending criminal charges;
(c) the sex offender has not remained offense free for more than three continuous years since his or her last classification; or
(d) the sex offender's last classification decision is currently under review by any court.
If you want to terminate your obligation to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board or seek reclassification of your offense level, we at Sweeney & Associates can represent you. We can determine whether you are eligible for reclassification or termination. If you are eligible, then we can help you put on the best case possible to demonstrate to SORB by clear and convincing evidence that your obligation to register should be terminated or your offense level should be reduced.
We at Sweeney & Associates understand the burden and stigma that comes with registration. Contact us today for a free consultation or call (617) 300-0212.