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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
A convicted sex offender may be punished if he or she knowingly: fails to register; fails to verify registration information; fails to provide notification of a change of address, institution of higher learning, or place of employment; or provides false information. In order to convict a defendant of failing to register as a sex offender, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant lives, works, or is enrolled as a student in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
- The defendant was convicted of a crime that requires registration or has been determined to be a sexually dangerous person. Sex crimes that require registration include but are not limited to: indecent assault and battery, rape, aggravated rape, forcible rape of a child, assault with intent to commit rape, possession, dissemination or production of child pornography, enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse, drugging a person for sexual intercourse, unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16, and disseminating to a minor matter harmful to a minor.
- The defendant knew that he or she was required to register, verify information, provide notice of change of place of employment, address, or institution of higher learning. This knowledge element involves a conscious intent, design or plan; and
- The defendant did not do so.
Potential punishments for these violations include: at least 6 months and up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction or up to 5 years in the state prison or a fine of up to $1,000, or both; community parole supervision for life (for all Levels 2 and 3 offenders and certain Level 1 or unclassified offenders); and at least 5 years in the state prison for a second or subsequent conviction.What If My Sex Crime Conviction Preceded My Obligation to Register as a Sex Offender?
Regardless of when you were convicted of a sex crime, with limited exception Massachusetts requires registration. In 2003 it was determined that laws like this one are not ex post facto laws. The rationale was that sex offender registration is a civil law, not punishment. The 5-4 decision has been adopted by a majority of states, Massachusetts included.I Have Been Registering in My Town Every Year but Not When I Change Jobs. Will I Get Charged with a Crime?
This question comes up all the time. Many people are not familiar with the particularity of the Massachusetts sex offender laws. They incorrectly assume that if they register annually in the town where they live they will be in compliance. In fact, you must also register every time you get a new job. We just defended one of these cases. The defendant had registered over fifteen times since he was required to do so, starting in 2003. However, he forgot to register when he switched jobs. A police officer from the town he lived in went to his workplace, saw him and took out a complaint. We were able to win the case but he was charged nevertheless. The district attorney wanted him to serve one year and be placed on lifetime community parole.Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer: (617) 263 6800
If you have been charged with failing to register as a sex offender, it is wise to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Stephen Neyman is a Massachusetts defense lawyer with decades of experience. As one of the leading defense attorneys in the state, Attorney Neyman offers his clients the best chances of success. If you would like to speak with aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer, call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. at (617) 263 6800 or contact us online. You can reach the office day or night, seven days a week.