In our introductory article in this series on Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), we looked at some of what constitutes a violation and what happens when someone violates SORA requirements. Moving on we are going to be taking a more detailed look at exactly what it means to be a registered sex offender in Michigan.
The Michigan State Police maintain an online database of all registered sex offenders living in Michigan. It is available to the public online. This means that if you have been convicted of a sex crime, you will be identified on the Michigan State Police SORA website as a sex offender. Your name, basic identifying information, and your current address will be publically available, along with a picture of your face, and your assigned ‘tier.’ This allows anyone with internet access to see exactly who is a sex offender, and what they were convicted.
SORA requires that offenders remain on the registry for 15 years, 25 years, or life, depending on their tier level. The tier levels are determined by the specific crime that the offender has been convicted of. Tier 1 are the least serious crimes and Tier 3 are the most serious convictions. The following is a list (not complete) of sex crimes broken down into their respective tiers:
- 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct against a victim 18 years old or older
- Indecent exposure with self-fondling in front of a minor
- A sexual offense committed by a someone whom the court has labelled a ‘sexually delinquent person’
- Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material (child pornography)
- Subsequent Tier I crime committed by someone who has already been convicted of a Tier I crime
- Distribution of child sexually abusive material (CSAM) also known as kiddie porn
- Sodomy against a victim aged 13 up to 18
- Using a computer to solicit or commit an immoral act against a minor
- Both 1st and 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Assault with intent to commit penetration (CSC 1st degree or CSC 3rd degree)
- Assault with intent to commit CSC 2nd degree against a victim under age 13
- Kidnapping a victim under age 14
Being a registered sex offender in Michigan means that at the click of a button, everyone and anyone can access that information. This can make getting a good job harder, and also impact relationships and friendships in a very negative way. However, unpleasant as this may be, the possible prison time awaiting those who are not in compliance is far worse!
We understand that many convicted sex offenders find the requirements of SORA very restrictive. After all, who would enjoy having to let the police know every time you moved, bought a car, went to school, or got a new job? But the alternative, which is years behind bars, is far worse. As experienced sex crime defense attorneys, we remind our readers that, while compliance with SORA may not be convenient or pleasant, it is critically important.
If you have questions about your possible eligibility for removal from the state sex offender registry, read our web site. Otherwise, contact us today at 866-766-5245.