Removal from the Sex Offender Registry
03/04/2015 09:18 AM EST
Convicted sex offenders who qualify under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (Act 295 of 1994), are listed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (“Registry”). The Registry includes an offender's offense, photo, a physical description, the offender's last reported address, whether the offender is enrolled at a post secondary school, employment address, vehicle information, and any known aliases.
The length of time an offender remains on the registry depends on which Tier classification the offense warrants. But, removal from the Sex Offender Registry List is possible. Tier 1 offenders must register on the non-public registry for 15 years, Tier 2 offenders must register on the public registry for 25 years, and Tier 3 offenders must register on the public registry for life. However, after amendments were made in 2011, there are several ways an offender may avoid being listed on the registry altogether or discontinue their registration.
Removal in Consensual Cases (Also known as “Romeo and Juliet” Law):
Any Tier offender can petition for removal under this provision, but consent is the main requirement along with the ages of the parties. For removal, the offender must prove that the victim was 13 years of age or older but less than 16 at the time of the offense, the offender is not more than four years older than the victim, and the offender can prove consent. Additionally, petition for removal may be afforded where the victim is 16 years of age or older, consent is proven, and the victim was not under custodial authority of the offender.
Notably, this change was not automatically retroactive, but if someone was previously put on the registry for a Romeo and Juliet situation, they could then petition to have their name removed.
Reduction of Registration Time for Tier I and III Offenses:
Tier I cases are the least severe sex offenses, and those offenders must register themselves on the Registry each year for fifteen years. However, a Tier I offender has the opportunity to petition to discontinue registration after ten years. Tier III offenders are convicted of more serious offenses and must register for life. However, a Tier III offender has the opportunity to petition to discontinue registration after 25 years.
In both possible Tier I and III removals, the offender must prove to the court that they are no longer a threat to society. In making this determination, the court looks at a number of factors including the nature and severity of the offense, the offenders age at the time of the offense, that the petitioner has not been convicted of any felony since being placed on the registry, and any other information considered material to the court’s decision, including completion of a sex offender treatment program.
After the 2011 amendments, juveniles who were under the age of 14 at the time of the offense, and were not tried as an adult, are not required to register. Additionally, juveniles who were 14-16 at the time of the offense and who were convicted of either Tier I or Tier II, avoid the list as well. Even where these requirements are not met, a juvenile offender is not subject to the public website, but instead their information is listed on the non-public database accessible only by law enforcement.