Sex Offender Registration Laws
While any criminal conviction results in collateral consequences that can affect your life for years to come, perhaps none are more serious than those that come along with a conviction for a Boston sex crime. If you face charges that are sexual in nature, you potentially face lifelong registration as a sex offender. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a knowledgeable defense attorney who assists clients charged with sex crimes, as well as those alleged to have violated Massachusetts sex offender registration laws.What Is the Sex Offender Registry?
The sex offender registry is a nationwide list of people convicted of sex-related crimes. The list includes a registrant’s name, address and criminal record.
There are three levels of sex offenders in Massachusetts.
Level 1 offenders are those who present a low risk of re-offending and low threat to the public. Registrants’ information is only provided to certain government agencies and is not publicly available.
Level 2 offenders are those who present a moderate risk of re-offending and moderate threat to the public. Information is available online for those placed on the registry after July 12, 2013. Otherwise, the information is available through the police department.
Level 3 offenders are those who present a high risk of re-offending and major threat to the public. Information on Level 3 offenders is available online.Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts requires anyone who lives, works, or attends post-secondary school in the state to register as a sex offender upon a conviction of certain sex-related crimes. The list of offenses requiring you to register as a sex offender is long. It includes some obvious crimes, such as rape, possession of child pornography, and indecent assault. However, it is not necessarily intuitive which crimes require registration. Some of the lesser-known offenses that also require you to sex offender registration include:
- Kidnapping of a child under the age of 16;
- Drugging a person for sex;
- Living off of or sharing in the earnings of a child prostitute;
- Distributing obscene material to a minor; and
- Sex trafficking.
Notably, you are required to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts even if your conviction was from another state, provided it is similar to one of the enumerated offenses that requires registration under Massachusetts law. Similarly, you must register if you were adjudicated as a youthful offender for a qualifying sex offense.Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
If you have been convicted of a qualifying sex offense, you must register. You also must verify information when requested and provide the government with updates when your information changes. Generally, you have only a few days to register or update your information. If you fail to comply with the sex offender registration laws, you can face new charges.
For example, a first-time offense for failing to register carries a punishment of six months to 2.5 years in a house of correction or up to five years in state prison. If this is your second offense, you face a mandatory minimum of five years in state prison. In addition, you may also be placed on lifetime community parole supervision.Are You Facing a Boston Sex Crime?
If the government claims that you committed a sexual offense, you need a lawyer who is ready to defend your name, your rights, and your freedom. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is committed to fiercely advocating on behalf of individuals facing serious sex crimes. Attorney Murphy is a veteran Boston criminal defense lawyer with a detailed understanding of the Massachusetts sex offender registration laws. He has more than 25 years of experience successfully handling some of the most challenging and high-stakes cases. He takes the time to listen to each client to develop customized strategies. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.