Michigan Sex Offender Registry Update

What Is The Michigan Sex Offender Registry?

In the state of Michigan, if you are convicted of a sex crime, then you are likely facing some repercussions involving the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. The Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act is a statute that prohibits a few things if you are convicted of a sex crime:

• Offenders are not allowed to live, work, or even stand within 1,000 feet from a school
• Offenders must register any vehicles owned under the act
• Offenders must report to police multiple times a year
• Offenders must register any email addresses with police
• These requirements can last for the rest of an offender’s life depending on their conviction

Note: This is a public registry that with a simple search an offender’s name, photo, address, and other information is readily available.

Michigan’s registry is the fourth largest registry in the country. Approximately 2,000 people are added to the registry each year. The registry includes children as young as 14 years old. The registry unbelievable includes both people who have not been convicted of a sex offense, and some people who haven’t even been convicted of a crime!

2016 Court Ruling

In August of 2016, the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act is a form of punishment that continues past an offender’s sentence whether they have completed their sentence for the sex offense that landed them on the registry in the first place. The court ruled that amendments made to the registry in 2006, and 2011 were being applied retroactively to include “exclusion zones” that limited where registrants can live and work. These amendments also retroactively lengthened registration periods to as long as life, while also added many new reporting requirements. In the court ruling, these parts of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act were deemed unconstitutional and a timeline was set by the court for necessary changes.

Missed Deadlines, A Promise For Change?

Since the Court of Appeals ruling in 2016, there have been multiple deadlines set by the court requiring changes that have come and gone. There are approximately 44,000 people on the registry currently. The ruling in 2016 so far has seen zero changes regarding the registry laws. Legislators have been dragging their feet, have missed deadlines, and to this point still have not outlined exactly what they plan to do. The state’s position is that the Court of Appeals decision only applied to those who challenged the law, and not the entire class of registrants as a whole. Basically, their position is, if you want a change, you have to file suit in court yourself to effectuate that change. The American Civil Liberties Union has since filed a class-action lawsuit in order to try to invalidate the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act as a whole, by having a ruling apply for all affected individuals who are on the registry. Currently, this issue is pending without a real end in sight, leaving many on the registry confused at what to do.

What About My Case?

If you or someone you love is currently on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, it is important to understand that this issue is still truly unresolved. Even though the Court of Appeals has found parts of the registry unconstitutional, it is still basically being applied in the same way as it had before the 2016 ruling. The most effective way to handle issues with the registry is to take control of your own case, seek the information necessary, and fight it in court. So far, the only people who have found any relief from the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act are the ones who have taken the fight to court themselves. If you are curious about what options you or a loved one may have regarding the current status of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act, we are happy to inform you that we offer a FREE consultation. You can give us a call anytime on our 24/7 defense help line at 1-800-342-7896, contact us online, or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. Our attorneys have over 100 years of experience in successfully defending sex crimes and their related punishment.

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