SORA Registration for Juveniles
The Michigan Sex Offender’s Registration Act, otherwise known as SORA, requires adults and juveniles to register as sex offenders if they are convicted of certain offenses.
Updated Laws Make Juvenile Registration under SORA Non-Public Under Certain Circumstances
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 with different reporting requirements. Tier III includes the most serious offenses. The rules for adults are different than SORA registration for juveniles.
Juveniles under SORA
In 2011, the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act was amended to change registration rules for SORA Registration for Juveniles. Under the new law, many juveniles are not required to register. However, two circumstances would make registration required. Juvenile offenders are required to register if:
A juvenile receives an order of disposition in Michigan (or another 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 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 specific criteria are met, the offender can petition for removal from SORA after 25 years.
The Michigan SORA law provides that the juvenile offender registry is not public. They do, however, appear on a database accessible to police officers. Failure to register under Michigan’s SORA law is a felony offense punishable by years in prison.
“Romeo and Juliet” Exception
There are exceptions to the mandatory SORA 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 four (4) years older, or the victim was 16 or 17 years old and not in the offender’s custody 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, the defendant must file a petition in the court where the person was adjudicated. A young defendant’s best hope of getting off the Michigan SORA list is with a qualified, experienced juvenile defense attorney.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney having experience with SORA
If a juvenile or adult is faced with the possibility of registering as a sex offender for many years, and possibly life, it is essential they have legal representation that has familiarity with the Sex Offenders Registration Act and experience representing people faced with the consequences of SORA. Failure to register under Michigan’s SORA law is a felony.
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience in felony and misdemeanor defense, including SORA litigation. If you, or a loved one, is facing these issues, please contact our juvenile defense attorneys for a free consultation, and we will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.