Relief From Registration in Massachusetts
When you apply for a job or an apartment, your registration as a sex offender and your record can cause problems. However, your sex offense conviction does not have to follow you around for years after the incident occurred.
You may be able to get relief from registration as a sex offender, terminate your obligation to register and/or seal your criminal record. Boston sex crimes defense attorney Kate Frame has extensive experience handling these types of issues
Attorney Frame served on the Sex Offender Registration Board (SORB) for an eight-year term. She has in-depth knowledge of SORB procedures and rules. She can help you seek relief or termination as well as assist with the sealing of your record.
Relief From the Duty to Register as a Sex Offender
It can be a burden to have to register as a sex offender. You must register with the SORB every year by going to the police station and/or by mailing registration information to the SORB. Additionally, if you are a Level 2 or Level 3, the information you provide can be disseminated to the public.
If you are a level three, your information can be posted online, law enforcement officials can put up posters and you can have a very difficult time finding a job or a place to live. If you have a child, you may be unable to volunteer at school events or help coach a sports team, even if you have not offended in decades.
There is a legal process available to petition the SORB for relief from the duty to register. If you obtain relief, you will have no duty to register with the police and SORB every year. Regulations allow a person to submit a written motion for relief to the SORB. You should file this motion before your classification hearing.
In determining whether to grant the motion, the SORB looks at whether the circumstances of your sex offense in connection with your criminal history do not indicate a risk of reoffense or a danger to the public. The Board will also consider the numerous factors it considers in assessing risk, including the presence or absence of any physical harm as part of the offense and whether the offense involved consensual conduct between adults.
Termination of the Obligation to Register
If your sex offense was more than 10 years ago, you may be eligible for termination of your registration obligation. This motion will require proof that you have not committed a sex offense within the last 10 years, following the date of your conviction. You must also show that you are not likely to present a danger to the safety of others.
If your motion is denied, you can apply again for termination three years after the date of the denial. It is important to make the most of your motion now by working with experienced counsel. Attorney Frame knows the type of evidence the Board wants to see when assessing your motion.
Sealing the Criminal Record Under the New CORI Law
In March 2012, new laws regarding Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) went into effect. There are new processes and rules for sealing a criminal record if you have been convicted of a sex-related offense.
Under the law, in order to seal your criminal record, you must first be released from your obligation to register as a sex offender. If you pled guilty or were convicted of a sex offense, you also have to wait a certain number of years before you can petition the court to seal your record.
Attorney Frame can assist you with obtaining relief from registration or termination of the obligation to register, and she can also guide you through the process of sealing your record under the new law.