assault

4 Ways To Be Removed From The Sex Offender Registry

Many people believe that Michigan’s sex offender registry laws are far too broad. In fact, Michigan has the fourth largest per capita number of people on its registry.

Sex offender registry laws in Michigan apply to a variety of crimes ranging from brutal assault to sexual contact between teenagers and certain kidnapping charges that do not involve any form of sexual contact. In addition to being listed on the registry, offenders must also appear in person to update information whenever they purchase a new vehicle or acquire a new email or messaging account.

Under current state laws, convicted sex offenders in Michigan are not allowed to live, work or loiter within 1000 feet of a school. These laws have long been argued as being ineffective and going far beyond simply protecting the public.

Removing Your Name From Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry

Fortunately, it is possible to have your name removed from Michigan’s sex offender registry. The Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA), Public Act of 2011, has made it possible for certain sex offenders in Michigan to petition to have their name removed from the registry after a period of ten years. Individuals that qualify for removal include those that meet the “Romeo and Juliet” exception as well as juvenile offenders that were convicted when they were less than 14 years of age if the conviction occurred before July 1st, 2011.

The SORA Tier System

SORA laws separate sex offenders into three tiers. Each tier determines the type of registration required as well as an individual’s eligibility for removal from the registry.

Tier I offenses are the least serious. Tier I offenders must register on a non-public list for 15 years with the opportunity to petition for removal after 10. Non-public sex offender registries are only available to law enforcement officials. Tier II offenders must register on the public sex offender registry for 25 years, while Tier III offenders are required to register on the public registry for life. The public sex offender registry lists the names and addresses of sex offenders, and is available to anyone searching a specific geographic region.

Not everyone is available for a removal or reduction in the time required to register. The following are the four ways in which an individual can petition the courts for a removal or reduction.

1. Removal in “Romeo and Juliet” consensual cases
2. Reduction in length of registration for Tier I and Tier III offenses
3. Removal of juvenile adjudications
4. Removal for individuals convicted of crimes no longer listed as offenses

Statutory Rape “Romeo and Juliet” Cases

The legal age for consent in Michigan is 16 years old. If one or both parties are under 16 when they participate in a sexual act, the older party can be convicted as a sex offender even if the sex was consensual. The new SORA laws allow convicted sex offenders to petition to be removed from the registry for life as long as the “victim” consented to the sex act and was no younger than 13 years old, and the “offender” was no more than 4 years older than the “victim”.

Tier III Reductions

Tier III offenders who were minors at the time of their offense might be able to petition for a removal from the registry 25 years after the date of conviction. In order to be eligible for a removal or reduction of time on the registry, the individual must prove that they are no longer a threat to the general public. It’s important to note that adult offenders and Tier II offenders are not eligible for removal or reduction.

The petition and hearing process is extremely complex, and you only get one chance to clear your name. It’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law have many years of experience dealing with sex crimes. Please contact us to learn how we can help.

Local Student Charged With Assault by Strangulation

A local college student was charged with Assault by Strangulation after an altercation that took place in his dorm room.  DeMario McMurray, a freshman at Wayne State University, faces up to 10 years in prison because of the charges.  Mr. McMurray, who may have been targeted because of his homosexuality, is now represented by the criminal defense firm of Nessel and Kessel Law.

What is undisputed is that the week before the incident in question Mr. McMurray had been assaulted by a number of other students.  After the assault, Mr. McMurray called the police and made a report.  Several days after making the report Mr. McMurray was confronted by the complaining witness in this case.  The complainant showed up, unannounced, at Mr. McMurray’s dorm room and an altercation ensued.

At the preliminary exam, held in the 36th District Court, the complaining witness faced a vigorous cross examination by Chris Kessel, one of the criminal defense attorneys representing Mr. McMurray.  She testified that she wanted to confront Mr. McMurray about his police report, which involved a friend of hers.  She testified that she heard Mr. McMurray on the phone with the police when she began banging on his door.  The witness claims that she was let into the room, only to have Mr. McMurray begin strangling her for no apparent reason.  When Mr. Kessel began to press her for details, she was unable to describe several key pieces of information surrounding the event.  At one point, clearly frustrated, the witness actually cursed at Mr. Kessel.

A police officer was also called to testify at the exam.  Upon being questioned by Dana Nessel, the officer was forced to admit that no investigation was done into the actions of the complaining witness; who is appears committed multiple felonies herself (those being home invasion, breaking and entering, and interfering with the filing of a police report).  It seemed that despite the witness’s actions, the police and the university determined that only Mr. McMurray was to blame.

As a result of the incident Mr. McMurray was expelled from Wayne State University.  No action was taken with respect to the complaining witness…until the story reached the media, at which time the complaining witness was suspended.

Despite the inconsistencies in the complainant’s story, the case was bound over for trial.

Assault by Strangulation Charge Dismissed

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Gets Case Dismissed

Michigan criminal defense attorney, Chris Kessel, of Nessel and Kessel Law, struck another blow for justice today in Wayne County Circuit Court by convincing the court to dismiss the charge of Assault by Strangulation/Suffocation.  The offense itself is a newly defined crime in the State of Michigan.  The law actually went into effect April 1, 2013.  It was alleged that the client put his hands around the neck of the complainant and applied pressure so as to impede her breathing of blood circulation.  This particular allegation is what lead the prosecutor to bring the strangulation charge.

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How Does Self Defense Work?

What is “self defense”?

Many times when we meet a client who is charged with an assaultive crime, they try to explain why they believe they should be acquitted because they were acting in self defense.  While that may be true in “the real world”, it is generally not true under the legal definition of self defense.  The legal meaning of self defense is very precise and often the tiniest deviation from the technical legal meaning can make the defense invalid.  Depending on the type of crime you have been charged with, your ability to argue self defense can change, so make sure you consult with one a top criminal defense attorney in Michigan before deciding on a defense.

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