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Failure to Register, Verify Information or Provide Notice of Change of Address

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes the threat posed to public safety by convicted sex offenders. In an attempt to keep tabs on those individuals required to register as a sex offender by the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB), Massachusetts also requires a sex offender to verify their address once a year, notify the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) within 45 days upon becoming homeless, notify the SORB 10 days in advance of intent to change home, work, post-secondary school address, and notify the SORB 10 days in advance of intent to move outside Massachusetts. Registration with the SORB costs an initial fee of $75 and an additional $75 annual renewal fee. Because of the severity of charges for conviction for failure to register, it is strongly advised that you seek legal counsel. An intelligent Boston, Massachusetts sex crimes attorney will be able to look at all details related to a failure to register charge and make the strongest case possible to work with the prosecution.

Failure to register with the Board, verify information, or provide adequate notice for a change of address is a criminal offense in Massachusetts set forth by Chapter 6, Section 178H of the General Laws, and carries a significant punishment for those who violate the law. A registered sex offender who knowingly fails to register, fails to verify information, fails to provide notice of a change of address, or who knowingly provides false information shall be punishable by the following for the first offense:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment for 6 months,
  • Maximum imprisonment for 2.5 years in a house of correction,
  • Maximum imprisonment in a state prison for 5 years,
  • A maximum fine of $1,000, or
  • By both fine and imprisonment
  • Upon completion of the sentence, the offender will be subject to community parole for life.

Any second or subsequent offense shall be punishable by the following:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 5 years
  • Upon completion of the sentence, the offender will be subject to community parole for life.

In order for a person to be convicted of this crime, the Commonwealth must be able to prove the following four elements:

  1. The defendant resided or worked in Massachusetts, or worked at an institution of higher learning in Massachusetts,
  2. The defendant was previously convicted of a sexual offense which was either adjudicated as a youthful offender, adjudicated as a delinquent juvenile, released from incarceration, parole, probation, or Department of Youth Services supervision,
  3. The defendant knew that he or she was required to register with, verify registration data with, provide notice of change of address to, and provide correct information to the Sex Offender Registry Board, and finally
  4. The defendant either failed to register, failed to verify registration information, failed to provide notice of a change of address, or provided false information to the Sex Offender Registry Board.
Length of Registration

The required length of registration for a sex offender ranges from 20 years to life, and is based on the type of sex offense rather than the actual classification. The Sex Offender Registry Law (SORL) requires an individual to register for 20 years if they are convicted of a single sex offense or if the offense was committed as a juvenile. If the offense involved a child, is a violent offense, or the offender has any prior convictions, they will be required to register for life. Persons whose only sex offense was committed as a juvenile may request relief from their duty to register; requests are not automatically granted and are viewed on a case specific basis. Level One offenders may submit their annual registrations by mail, while Level Two and Level Three sex offenders must re-register each year in person at the local police station.

Don’t Take Chances with Your Future: Consult a Competent and Capable Sex Crimes Lawyer Today

The negative public stigma related to sexual offenses can make it challenging for an alleged offender to receive the fair trial that one is entitled to. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is not afraid of a challenging case, and will zealously advocate for you to ensure due process is upheld and your rights are protected. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has been successfully representing and defending clients in the greater Boston area for 18 years, and has the confidence and ability to help you mount a strong defense against a wide array of charges, including Failing to Register, Verify Information, Providing Notice, and Providing False Information. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is available 24/7 to provide you with a free comprehensive legal analysis of your case. For additional information, please call (617) 367-0450 or complete the contact form on our website.

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