Regardless of the outcome, it’s not uncommon for clients and their families to be emotional after a SORA removal hearing. However, after a recent particularly contentious hearing, both our client and his family were almost in tears. Prosecutor’s regularly object to these petitions…in fact defense attorney Chris Kessel has never had a hearing where a prosecutor didn’t object. But the prosecutor in this case didn’t merely object, but called my client a predator and a monster.
However, while the prosecutor was only able to name call and place blame for kinds of tragic events at our client’s feet, attorney Chris Kessel was able to establish to the judge that his client was no longer a threat to society. Not only could Chris present a client who had successfully completed his probation and counseling and who has a long educational and work history, but he was able to show the judge that his client was simply not the type of person the SOR was meant for. And even after the prosecutor personally attacked our client, Chris Kessel was able to remind the judge that the legislature allows for court to make determinations based on a particular client and their circumstances and not the argument that no one should be allowed to be off the registry.
Thankfully the judge saw it our way and signed the order allowing our client to be removed from the Sex Offender Registry.
It’s important to know that you only get one shot at clearing your name, and the process of sex offender removal is incredibly complex. Both petitioning for removal and going through the hearing process involve extensive paperwork and other technicalities often present problems preventing defendants from being removed from the list. If your hearing does not go well and your name is not removed from the SORA, you will remain on the registry for the full term dictated by law. Don’t go through this process alone! You need the experienced and skilled sex crime attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law to make the most of your one opportunity at clearing your name for good.
Recently, the laws surrounding Michigan’s sex offender registry have come under intense scrutiny. Proponents of such a classifying system argue that registries help parents and other upstanding citizens keep track of violent sexual offenders and pedophiles who prey on children, but those opposed point to research that suggests otherwise.
Sex offender registry lists may, in fact, do little to protect communities from danger, and instead create trouble and torment for those nonviolent offenders who are unlikely to reoffend. (It’s interesting to note that the state of Michigan has the fourth highest per capita number of offenders on its list; and is only one of four that requires those convicted of public urination to register — seems crazy, right?)
Many argue that Michigan’s sex offender registry laws are too broad, and maybe even downright unconstitutional. That: That’s for someone else to decide on a different day, and here what we’ll talk about instead is this:
How to Remove Your Name from Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry
If you were convicted of a sex crime in Michigan, and were required to add your name to the list of sexual offenders in the state, know that you may qualify to petition the court, to have your name removed from the sex offender registry.
Do you know what kind of information the state has on you?
More than you might think.
The sex offender registry in Michigan contains:
- Your name
- Your place of employment,
- Your mugshot,
- The crime(s) that put you on the list
- Your car’s make, model, color and license plate.
Do I qualify to petition the court to have my name removed?
Thanks to the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA), Public Act 17 and Public Act 18, of 2011, certain sexual offenders in Michigan can petition to have their names removed from the state’s sex offender registry; prior to the Act’s passage in 2011, this was not possible, for any reason whatsoever.
Now, things are different.
Tier I offenders — those whose offenses were the least severe (e.g., indecent exposure, most cases of fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct, and possession of child pornography) — may petition the court to have their names removed from the Michigan sex offender registry list after 10 years. Before 2011, such offenders would be required to wait 15 years.
Tier III offenders are those whose crimes were more severe (e.g., first degree criminal sexual misconduct, and child molestation), and are required to register for life. However, under SORA, Tier III offenders may petition the court to reduce their registration sentence to 25 years — but only if the offender was a juvenile at the time of offense.
With that in mind, juvenile offenders — those convicted before July 1, 2011, and those who were under the age of 14 at the time of conviction — may petition the court to have their names removed entirely.
You might qualify to have your name removed from the sex offender registry.
The Sex Offender Registry Act of Michigan makes it possible to have your name removed from the sex offender registry, so there is hope. But it’s not a perfect process, nor an easy one. And you only get one shot. This is why it’s absolutely necessary to have an experienced attorney in your corner as you petition the court for removal from Michigan’s sex offender registry.