If you have been accused of a sex crime, you will be informed that upon conviction you must register as a sex offender. But what does it really mean to register as a sex offender? This is a question we are often asked by clients and potential clients alike. A person is required to register as a sex offender with the Sexual Offender Registry Board, commonly known as SORB, if he or she is convicted of certain sex offenses.
Common examples of sex crimes requiring registration upon conviction:
If you are required to register as a sex offender, it can be an onerous task that will follow you through life. As a Quincy sex crime attorney, Richard Sweeney understands that sex offender registration can be overwhelming, with so much riding on your future. To discuss your case further with a lawyer who fully understands the laws, please do not hesitate to reach out to Sweeney & Associates, LLC.
Our sex crime attorney understands the complexities surrounding registering as a sex offender. Contact us today to discuss your options.
Registration may seem easy but many people find it much more burdensome than they initially thought. Life will take on a new normalcy where registration becomes an annual requirement because it is not a one-time act.
You will need to submit a form that includes:
Not only will you be required to constantly verify your information, but the majority of sex offenders will have to register for at least 20 years. Some people will be required to register for life and some will be able to terminate their registration obligation early. The facts of each individual case and the crimes you were convicted of will determine how long you will have to register but you should assume it will be a lengthy period of time.
Quincy sex crime lawyer, Richard Sweeney, offers insight on the different levels of sex offender registration. To begin, Level 1 sex offenders in Quincy, MA are able to maneuver through life much easier than level 2 and level 3 offenders but any level sex offender will likely encounter problems finding employment and housing. Sex offenders can find themselves homeless due to restrictions and difficulties finding stable housing. Even if not homeless, many find themselves moving frequently and often finding themselves to be unwelcome.
Sex offender registration can prevent you from attending your child’s extracurricular activities or school functions. As the population ages, level 3 sex offenders are also running into difficulties because it is a crime to live in a nursing home. Even a level 3 sex offender confined to a bed or wheelchair cannot live in a nursing home. Depending on your classification level, the public including neighbors, co-workers, professors, and so on will be notified of your status as a sex offender by the police or the public can contact the police department or SORB to find out information about you.
There is also a stigma attached to being a sex offender. While the intention of the sex offender list may have been noble when it was first created, the laws now sweep up countless individuals who do not pose a danger to the public. For example, a 17-year-old boy who had sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend could be forced to register as a sex offender after being convicted of statutory rape.
The two people could end up married with children yet the status of being a sex offender will follow him and his family for years. Stigmas can affect the emotional and mental wellbeing of any person required to register regardless of the facts behind the crime and requirement to register.
There are also criminal consequences related to a failure to register or providing incorrect information on the registration form. Not only could you be charged with a new crime that is punishable by jail, but if you fail to register for the sex offense you are on probation for then you will also face a probation violation hearing and the possibility of additional jail time.
What is the sex offender registry board?
The sex offender registry board is the panel which must decide in which of the three categories of sexually deviant behavior each person who commits a sex crime in the Commonwealth belongs. The three levels range from modest offenses such as lewd and lascivious conduct or indecent exposure to the higher ranges where people who have been convicted of multiple counts, or sexually violent crimes, or who have been determined as sexually dangerous persons or sexual predators. The board also hears appeals from people who believe that they either belong in a different category of sex offenders or who believe they do not belong on the list.
How long do I have to be on the list if I am required to register?
Sexually violent offenders, those who have offended against a child, and those with two or more convictions must register for life. All other sexual offenders must register for 20 years, however, they may petition the Sex Offender Registry Board for relief after 10 years following their last conviction, release from custody, or discharge from community supervision.
Will people in my neighborhood know that I am on the Sex Offender Registry?
Active community notification is conducted by the police departments where the offender resides, works, and where the offense(s) took place on all offenders finally classified a Level 3. The police shall provide information about Level 3 offenders to all schools, daycares, and places where the public is likely to encounter the offender. Additionally, the police shall cause such information to be transmitted through a media outlet such as television, newsprint, etc.
Information about offenders finally classified at Level 2 may be released by the police departments upon written inquiry from any individual 18 years of age or older, who certifies they are requesting the information for their own personal safety or the safety of their family. Individuals may also contact the Sex Offender Registry Board for information related to Level 2 or Level 3 offenders. This request must be made in writing on a form bearing the signature of the requester attesting to the fact that they are 18 years of age or older and the information is requested for their own personal safety or the safety of their family.
Information about those offenders who have finally been classified at Level 1 and those offenders pending classification shall not be released to the public, but may be shared between law enforcement agencies.
What is the penalty for not registering?
Under the law any sex offender who knowingly fails to register or reregister, or who knowingly provides materially false information to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minor Registry shall be guilty of a felony.
A first conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than six months and not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction nor more than five years in a state prison or by fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by both such fine and imprisonment.
A second and subsequent conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years.
What offenses require registration with the board?
Offenses requiring registration with the board include, but may not be
Indecent assault and battery on a child under 14; indecent assault and battery on a mentally retarded person; indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over; rape; rape of a child under 16 with force; rape and abuse of a child; assault with intent to commit rape; assault of a child with intent to commit rape; kidnapping of a child; enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse; drugging persons for sexual intercourse; inducing a minor into prostitution; living off or sharing earnings of a minor prostitute; second and subsequent adjudication or conviction for open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior; incestuous marriage or intercourse; disseminating to a minor matter harmful to a minor; posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity; dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct; possession of child pornography; unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16; aggravated rape; any attempt to commit any of the aforementioned violations
What can I do if the Registry has informed me that I must register?
If you feel that the registry has placed you in the wrong Level of offender, or if you feel that you do not belong on the registry, and you have a compelling reason why you believe so, you should contact an attorney and begin the appeal process. People have had success in appeals, especially where the crime was committed a number of years ago and there has been no crime committed since, and in cases where the crime that was allegedly committed was pled to prior to the creation of the sex offender registry. We have represented a number of people in appeals before the sex offender registry board, and have had some success.
In many cases, we have been successful negotiating plea agreements that keep clients out of jail but still require them to register as a sex offender in Quincy, MA. Hiring experienced and knowledgeable Quincy sex crime attorneys can help you navigate the registration world.
Contact us at Sweeney & Associates, LLC at 617-328-6900 today for a free consultation.