The Michigan Sex Offender’s Registration Act (SORA) requires individuals convicted of certain offenses to register with the state police. The new law divides offenses into three tiers and each tier has difference reporting requirements. Tier III being the most serious offenses.
Juveniles under SORA
In 2011, the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act was amended to change registration rules for juvenile offenders. Under the new law, many juveniles are not required to register. However, there are two circumstances that would make registration required. Juvenile offenders are required to register if:
A juvenile receives an order of disposition in Michigan (or other state) that is open to the public, the juvenile was at least 14 years old at the time of the offense, and the offense would classify the juvenile as a tier III offender.
Juveniles who were under the age of 14 at the time of the offense are not required to register.
Length of Registration
A juvenile tier III offender meeting the requirements to register must do so for life. If certain criteria are met, the offender can petition for removal from SORA after 25 years.
The 2011 SORA law provides that juvenile offender registry is not public. They do, however, appear on a database accessible to police officers.
“Romeo and Juliet” Exception
There are exceptions to mandatory registration of tier III juvenile offenders. These involve a consensual sexual act with another minor. If the victim involved was 13-15 years old, and the offender was not more than 4 years older or the victim was 16 or 17 years old and not in the custody of the offender at the time of the offense. A court must determine if the exception applies. If an offender is already required to register and the “Romeo and Juliet” exception applies, there must a petition filed in the court where the person was adjudicated.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney having experience with SORA
As a juvenile or adult being faced with the possibility of having to register as a sex offender for many years, and possibly life, it is important that you have legal representation that has familiarity with the Sex Offenders Registration Act and experience representing people faced with the consequences of SORA.
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience in this, and all other areas, of the criminal law. If you, or a loved one, is faced with these issues, please contact us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Information Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.