Moving for Removal From the Sex Offender Registry
Placement on the Sex Offender Registry in Michigan limits a person’s employability. Additionally, a person registering under SORA might be unable to attend their children’s school activities.
Petitioning For Removal From Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry
As one of Michigan’s most well-known Criminal Defense Law Firms, we frequently get calls from individuals interested in requesting removal from the Michigan Sex Offender Registry (SORA). Determining whether someone is eligible for removal is highly complex, and there are no easy answers. The following information may give you some guidance that you can use to determine whether it would be worth investing in a lawyer for a more formal assessment.
NOTE: Individuals may only petition for removal from the Sex Offender Registry ONE TIME. Failure to follow the rules, present a compelling case, or any mistakes might lead to decades of unnecessary continued registration and the collateral impacts of being on the registry. It is highly recommended that anyone considering filing a petition for removal work with a qualified, experienced, and successful defense attorney.
Who is eligible to petition for removal from Sex Offender Registration?
Only three (3) categories of individuals are eligible to petition for removal from the registry at any time.
(1) Those convicted of engaging in consensual sexual activity with a minor less than four (4) years younger than the offender at the time of the offense and at least 13 years old. This is known as the Romeo & Juliet situation.
(2) Juveniles who were 14 at the time of the offense and adjudicated or convicted as a minor.
(3) Finally, juveniles convicted of Tier I or Tier II offenses (the least severe offenses) who were between 14 and 16 years old and adjudicated as minors.
Who is eligible to Petition for a Shorter Registration?
Two categories of individuals are eligible to request early removal after a period of time. These requests are complex. Eligibility depends on establishing specific circumstances. The two categories are as follows:
(1) Juveniles aged 14 to 16 who committed a Tier III offense (the most severe offenses) and have not reoffended are required to register for life on the nonpublic registry. These individuals can petition for removal from the nonpublic registry after 25 years.
(2) All Tier I offenders must register for 15 years but may petition for removal after 10 years if they have not reoffended.
“Is removal automatic once the registration period expires?”
Once the statutory period has expired, the Michigan State Police must remove the registrant from SORA within seven (7) days and send the individual a letter confirming their removal. Anyone who doesn’t receive the removal letter can contact the MSP SORA Unit at (517) 241-1806. Unfortunately, those removed from SORA might remain in private online databases.
Should I hire a lawyer, and if so, what type should I hire?
Individuals currently on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry may only submit ONE petition for removal in their lifetime. Failure to complete a petition correctly or failure to properly advocate a petition can be permanently fatal. If you are going to attempt to get removed from the registry, you need expert representation. There are times to bargain hunt, and there are times when only the best will do. If you represent yourself, you are expected to conduct yourself as an attorney and follow the same general rules as an attorney.
If you are interested in hiring LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to evaluate your options formally, please call for a free consultation. We will take the time to speak with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.