Understanding the Sex Offender Registry in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) was established to protect the citizens of Massachusetts by providing relevant information about convicted sex offenders living or working in their communities. It is essential for anyone who has been convicted of a sex offense in the state to understand how the Registry works, its requirements, and processes so that you comply with the law to avoid future legal issues.

Who Must Register as a Sex Offender?

In Massachusetts, individuals who have been convicted of certain sex offenses are required to register as sex offenders. This is per Chapter 6, section 178C of the Massachusetts General Laws.

The most common crimes that require sex offender registration in Massachusetts include:

  • Rape: This includes various degrees of rape, such as statutory rape, aggravated rape, and rape of a child.
  • Indecent Assault and Battery: This involves unwanted sexual touching of another individual over 14.
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape: This crime involves the intent to commit rape, even if the act does not occur.
  • Enticing a Child Under the Age of 16 for Sexual Purposes: This includes any actions to persuade or convince a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Possession or Dissemination of Child Pornography: This involves possessing, creating, or distributing explicit sexual content involving minors.

Adults and juveniles adjudicated as youthful offenders or delinquents due to a sex offense must register. Adults convicted of a single sex offense and most juveniles must typically register for 20 years from the date of conviction or release from custody, whichever occurs later. However, certain crimes may require lifetime registration.

These are not the only crimes that require registration. Other, less common sex crimes may also warrant registration on the Massachusetts sex offender registry. To ensure accurate information and understanding of these complex laws, it's advisable to consult with our criminal law attorney at Brad Bailey Law.

Classification Levels of Registration

In Massachusetts, sex offenders are classified into three levels based on the risk they pose to public safety:

  • Level 1: These offenders pose a low risk of re-offense and pose minimal danger to the public.
  • Level 2: These offenders pose a moderate risk of re-offense and a moderate degree of danger to the public.
  • Level 3: These offenders pose a high risk of re-offense and a significant danger to the public.

Generally, most convictions will lead to registration for a least 20 years. However, registration may be mandated for a lifetime in more severe cases, such as those involving violence or offenses against minors. These individuals are never allowed to seek a release from required registration.

Those not required to register for life may be allowed to petition for a release from mandated registration after 10 years; this will only be permitted if they have remained free of criminal activity within those years.

These durations could be extended or reduced based on various factors, such as compliance with registration requirements, completion of treatment programs, and changes in personal circumstances.

Registering Process

The process of registering on the Massachusetts sex offender registry involves several steps. After being convicted of a sex crime, you will receive a notice from SORB with instructions on registering. You must complete a registration form, including personal information, conviction details, and current address.

You must register within two days before your release from jail or prison. Registration must also occur two days before taking a job, within two days after being told you must register by a probation or parole office, or 10 days before college, university, or other post-secondary education. You must also update your registry should you move; failure to do so can lead to new criminal charges.

Failure to Register Consequences

Failure to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts has serious legal consequences. If you fail to register, verify registration information, or provide false information, you may be prosecuted for a felony offense. Penalties can include imprisonment for up to two and a half years, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Need Help? Call Brad Bailey Law in Boston

Understanding the Massachusetts sex offender registry, its requirements, and the consequences for non-compliance is crucial for anyone convicted of a sex crime in the state. At Brad Baily Law, we can help with any issues related to mandatory sex offender registration.

We can present a well-prepared case if you need to go before a SORB hearing. We may be able to provide advantageous expert testimony or other forensic evidence that can lead to positive results in these matters.

Our Boston attorney for criminal defense brings decades of experience in Massachusetts criminal law to your case. Mr. Bailey is a former state and federal prosecutor who has earned national recognition from many legal industry organizations.

Contact Brad Bailey Law for a free initial consultation about your sex offender registration case at (617) 500-0252 today.

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