Remove Name from SORA – Atty Bruce Alan Block
How to Remove Your Name from Sex Offender Registry – SORA Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer
> > See our other SORA information Page: Michigan Sex Crimes
The Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act SORA was overhauled on July 1, 2011. The changes were broad. Some found it helped; others discovered the changes drastically harmed them, as now they must register for a much longer time. Michigan moved from a "one size fits" all 25-year registry program to a multileveled system. There are three different levels or Tiers. The level an offender is placed in depends on the type of crime and age of the victim.
Juvenile offenders who were convicted prior to July 1, 2011, and who were under 14 years of age when convicted can petition to be completely removed from SORA registration. On our companion page Michigan Sex Crimes, we discuss many SORA issues, particularly the most asked question: "Why am I listed on SORA?" SORA is now being recognized as a serious, life changing, punishing penalty. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a defense attorney who failed to properly advise their a client about SORA registration did not adequately represent the client (conviction was reversed).
How Can I Remove My Name From Sex Offender Registry (SORA)?
Before the 2011 changes, no one could remove their name from SORA. There were a few exceptions for juvenile offenders. School aged sweethearts who were under the age of consent (16) and got carried away and went a bit too far – too fast, could find one or both parties (typically the boy) charged, convicted, and required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. There is now a way of avoiding SORA registration if certain criteria are met (see discussion of Romeo and Juliet below).
Under the July 2011 changes, individuals required to register who are now eligible can petition to remove themselves from SORA. Some who were convicted of specified crimes which, under the previous law required 25-year registration, can now ask a court to reduce their registration period from 25 years to 10 years. An important point to keep in mind:
You get one shot.
If you file the wrong petition or do not provide enough supporting evidence – you are out of luck. This means you will have to register the remainder of your time. You owe it to yourself to consult a knowledgeable attorney. Do NOT go it alone. Removal from SORA is generally disfavored by the legal system. Removal is NOT automatic nor guaranteed. You must take proactive steps to file the proper documents, in the proper court, and present proper proofs at an evidentiary hearing. Ultimately, the decision is up to the judge.
Romeo and Juliet.
The classic Romeo and Juliet case is where one or more of the parties engaged in sex is under the legal age of consent, which in Michigan is age sixteen. Sometimes, not always, one of the actors is older and he or she, but typically he, can be charged with statutory rape, as the other actor is not deemed legally of age to competently give consent. Persons convicted of a Romeo and Juliet sex crime prior to July 1, 2011 can petition a court to have their name completely removed from SORA. To qualify, the person must be able to show — at a present-day hearing — that the 13 to 16 year old victim consented to the sex act, and the accused must not have been more than 4 years older than the victim.
Juvenile offenders who were convicted prior to July 1, 2011, and who were under 14 years of age when convicted can petition to be completely removed from SORA registration.
SORA Registrants Whose Crime no Longer Requires Registration.
Persons convicted prior to July 1, 2011 of a sex offense requiring SORA registration will not be automatically removed. Those who were convicted of a SORA registration offense whose crime no longer requires registration, are allowed to ask (petition) a court to be removed.
Who do I Ask to Have My Name Removed from SORA?
A petition and documentation must be filed with the sentencing court and an evidentiary hearing held to decide whether to grant or deny your petition. The victim of the crime is given the chance to be at the hearing and express their wishes. Typically the county prosecutor will oppose your petition.
Much more can be said on this subject. Contact our office for an appointment.
Contact us for Experienced Representation.
Attorney Bruce Alan Block is a Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal defense lawyer who has successfully handled criminal cases where persons have been charged with sex offenses. We are prepared to defend you and seek the truth. If you are presently on the sex offender registry and think you may qualify to be removed, make an appointment to come talk with us.
If you or a family member has been charged with or accused of a sex crime you need immediate advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact our Grand Rapids, Michigan, marijuana criminal defense lawyer at (616) 676-8770.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
1155 East Paris Ave. SE Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 676-8770
Serving Clients throughout Western Michigan, in Grand Rapids, Ada, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Cascade, Lowell, Byron Center, Wyoming, Caledonia, Rockford, Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, Kent, Barry, Ottawa, Muskegon and Ionia County.
We represent college students from Calvin College, Aquinas, Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone College, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University.