Disorderly Conduct and Urinating in Public Charges

Lansing Michigan Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer

East Lansing Urinating in Public Lawyer

 

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $500 plus costs. The disorderly conduct statute is quite broad and covers a broad range of behavior that classifies someone as a disorderly person. Most municipalities have local ordinances similar to the state statute. They can be quite vague and can include anything from being loud and boisterous, public intoxication, arguing in public, noise ordinance violation, resisting the police, urinating in public.

The state statute (MCL 750.167) Disorderly Person cites a plethora of categories of behavior that makes someone guilty of being a disorderly person. It includes:

  • Refusing to support your family when you have the ability
  • Common prostitution
  • Window peeper
  • Running an illegal occupation or business
  • Indecent or obscene conduct in a public place
  • Vagrant
  • Begging in public
  • Loitering in a house of ill fame or prostitution or a place where prostitution or lewdness is practiced, encouraged, or allowed
  • Knowingly loitering in or about a place where an illegal occupation or business is taking place
  • Loitering in a police station, jail, court, or other public building for the purpose of soliciting legal services
  • Jostling or roughly crowding people unnecessarily in public

It does not include a mother breastfeeding a child.

Urinating in Public

Urinating in public is generally an offense that falls under disorderly conduct or being a disorderly person under both state statute and local ordinances. It is a crime that carries the possibility of jail, fines, and probation. If the police or prosecutor accuse you of doing it where adults or children may have seen you, they may try to increase the charge to something more serious such as indecent exposure, which could put you on the sex offender registry.

Our firm frequently represents people (mostly college students) at the 54-B district court in East Lansing on this charge. It is important to have an attorney represent you that is familiar with the policies of the prosecutor and judge you will be facing because they have certain criteria they look at when deciding how to resolve this cases and it’s important you have an attorney that knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to get the best possible outcome which is ideally keeping the matter off your record entirely.

Sex Offender Registration

You can be required to register as a sex offender under the sex offender registration act (SORA) if convicted of disorderly conduct. You will be required to register as a sex offender if you are convicted three times of disorderly conduct. That’s why it is important to have a lawyer on your side experienced in defending against disorderly conduct and indecent exposure charges to make sure you don’t have to comply with SORA.

Michigan Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, urinating in public, or indecent exposure contact Austin Legal Services, PLC today to speak to a Michigan disorderly conduct defense lawyer at (517) 614-1983!

Defending charges of disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and urinating in public throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Jackson, Kent in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Jackson, Grand Rapids.

Prior Bad Acts in Michigan Sex Crimes

CSC 2

Lansing Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) Defense Lawyer

Ordinarily, prosecutors are not allowed to introduce evidence that a defendant committed the same or similar act to the one he is currently charged with to show a propensity towards such behavior or that the defendant acted in conformity with that propensity. In other words, if a defendant is on trial for stealing a toaster, the court will not allow evidence that defendant stole toasters in the past to show that since he did it before than he probably did it this time. Also, the prosecutor cannot introduce the evidence just to show that the defendant has a poor disposition of character. There are various reasons for this.

First, a defendant should be tried solely on the evidence of the current charge and not any past indiscretions. Second, the danger is that the jury may overreact and convict the defendant based upon his past bad conduct rather than the evidence presented on the current charge. That’s what the law refers to as evidence that is more prejudicial than probative. The potential harm to the defendant outweighs any benefit it gives to the prosecution or helping the jury understand the case.

MCL 768.27a and MRE 404(b)

Under Michigan Rules of Evidence 404(b), the prosecutor is precluded from introducing evidence of prior bad acts to show propensity or that the defendant acted in conformity with that propensity. However, Michigan has a law (MCL 768.27a) that allows them to do just that in sex offense cases against a minor, even though it directly conflicts with the rules of evidence. It also violates the fundamental rules of fairness as it is inherently prejudicial to the defendant. Prosecutors can introduce such evidence of prior sexual misconduct to not only show propensity towards committing sexual offenses, but to show the disposition of the defendant’s character. In other words, to show that he’s a bad guy. Not only does he have to defend against the evidence on the current charge, but against allegations of past misconduct, some of which may never have been reported or proven in court.

Prior Bad Acts Balanced Between Relevance and Unfair Prejudice

Michigan Rules of Evidence 403 still applies to MCL 768.27a. That means that the prior bad acts can be barred by the court if the relevance of introducing them is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the defendant. Essentially, the prior bad acts will be barred from being introduced as evidence at trial if the unfair prejudice substantially outweighs its probative or beneficial value. The danger to the defendant is that the jury will convict because of defendant’s prior misconduct instead of the facts presented at trial.

Reasons Why the Court May Exclude Evidence of Defendant’s Prior Sexual Misconduct

  • There is a dissimilarity between the prior acts and the charged offense
  • The prior bad acts occurred a long time ago compared to the time the charged offense allegedly occurred
  • The infrequency of the prior bad acts
  • The presence of intervening facts
  • The lack of reliability of the evidence supporting the prior bad acts
  • There is a lack of need for evidence beyond the complaining witness and defendant’s testimony

No 10-Year Limitation on Introducing Evidence of Prior Bad Acts

Unlike MCL 768.27b for domestic violence cases, there is no 10-year limit for introducing evidence of prior bad acts. The age of the prior sexual offenses can be taken into consideration when deciding whether they should be admitted, but there is not a ban on the prior offenses simply because of how long ago they occurred. The court weighs the propensity inference in favor of the probative value, not the prejudicial effect. Again, this is inherently unfair to the defendant, the one whose life and freedom is on the line.

Lansing Michigan Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a sex offense or criminal sexual conduct (csc), you need to have someone with experience defending against sex crime allegations and opposing evidence of prior misconduct which can grossly prejudice the jury against the defendant. If you are facing rape charges or other sex crimes, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to a Michigan sex crimes attorney. Call (517) 614-1983 for a free, no obligation consultation today!

Defending criminal sexual conduct (csc) charges, rape allegations, and opposing evidence of prior sex offenses throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Livingston, Kent, Calhoun, Shiawassee in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Charlotte, Jackson, Corunna, Durand, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo.

 

 

Michigan Sex Crimes—Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC)

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC)

Lansing Michigan Sex Crimes Attorney

Being accused of rape or molestation is a terrifying experience. This is the type of crime where even the mere accusation has the ability to permanently harm someone’s life and reputation. The irrevocable damage can be very destructive in terms of how family, friends, co-workers, and employers view you. Even if the accusations turn out to be false, they often leave behind an indelible stain. These cases can be very emotional for those involved, including juries, judges, prosecutors, and investigators. If you have been charged, accused, or under investigation for rape, molestation, or other sex crimes, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC), aka “Rape”

Michigan calls its rape statute Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). It is divided into four degrees with the first and third degrees requiring penetration, while the second and fourth degrees require sexual touching. The most severe sentence is CSC 1st degree which carries up to life in prison and CSC 4th degree is the lowest which is a high-court misdemeanor carrying up to two years in prison. If convicted, you will have to comply with the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) unless there is an exception to your case.

Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA)

If you are convicted of criminal sexual conduct, most likely you will have to comply with the sex offender registry unless an exception applies such as the complaining witness (“victim”) was between the ages of 13 and 16, there was no more than a four-year age difference between the complaining witness and the defendant, and the act was consensual. If you are currently on the sex offender registry, you may be able to petition for removal through the Romeo and Juliet provisions or other amendments.

Corroboration of the Allegation is Not Necessary

A common misconception in rape cases is that independent evidence, such as a medical report or rape kit, must support the allegation of the complaining witness. Sadly, that is not the case. Juries are instructed that corroboration is not necessary and that they can convict based on testimony alone. Prosecutors often play on juries’ emotions and sympathy for the “victim,” especially in weak cases or cases involving minors. Sex crimes are vastly different than other criminal charges because the outcomes can be affected by false allegations and emotionalism.

Special Accommodations in Sex Crime Cases

Sex crimes are different in a lot of ways. They are unique as they have double punishment for the same offense with the sex offender registry and prosecutors are permitted to give complaining witnesses special accommodations in the courtroom, even if it is highly prejudicial to the defendant. In cases involving minors (and sometimes adults) prosecutor are permitted to use barriers in the courtroom to block the complaining witness from seeing the defendant while testifying or re-arranging counsel tables. If the complaining witness is a minor, they are also offered a support person or someone to keep them company and sit next to them while testifying.

Prior Bad Acts or Past Offenses Can be Used Against the Defendant

Another reason how sex crimes are different is that the prosecutor is allowed to do something that they are not permitted to do in any other case—they can introduce evidence that a defendant committed sexual offenses in the past (even if they were unreported and not prosecuted) in cases involving minors and offer it to the jury for propensity. In other words, the prosecutor can introduce such evidence to show that since the defendant misbehaved in the past, they can use that to conclude he had a propensity towards such misbehavior. Like its federal counterpart, the Michigan Rules of Evidence 404(b) precludes a prosecutor from introducing evidence of prior bad acts to show that the defendant acted in conformity with such bad behavior when he committed the current offense.

The main reason is that we want the jury to decide the case based upon the evidence presented on the current charge and not have their minds poisoned by acts a defendant may have committed years ago. Even acts that he was acquitted of in court can be used against a defendant! Prosecutors are allowed to do this because a special statute allows them to. Thankfully, it does have its limitations and the defense can still argue the evidence should be kept out because its irrelevant and other evidentiary reasons.

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) Charges

CSC 1st Degree

Involves sexual penetration and any of the following: Victim is less than 13 years old

  • Victim is 13-15 years old and a blood relative of defendant, lives in defendant’s home, or the defendant is in an authority position over victim
  • Multiple actors are involved and force or coercion is used
  • A weapon was involved
  • Victim suffers personal injury and force or coercion is used
  • Victim suffers personal injury and is incapacitated
  • Defendant was in the process of committing another felony
  • Victim is 16-17 and a student at a public or private school and defendant is a teacher, substitute teacher, coach, or administrator
  • Defendant is a person of authority over the victim

This is a felony punishable by up to any term of years up to life in prison.

CSC 2nd Degree

Involves sexual contact with the genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts and any of the circumstances listed in CSC 1st.

This is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

CSC 3rd Degree

Involves sexual penetration and any of the following: Victim is 13-15 years old

  • Force or coercion is used
  • Victim is incapacitated
  • Victim is 16-17 and a student at a public or private school and defendant is a teacher, substitute teacher, coach, or administrator

This is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

CSC 4th Degree

Involves sexual contact and any of the following:

  • Force or coercion is used
  • Victim is incapacitated
  • Defendant works for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and the victim is an inmate of the MDOC
  • Victim is 16-17 and a student at a public or private school and defendant is a teacher, substitute teacher, coach, or administrator
  • Defendant used unethical conduct while treating the victim during a medical exam

This is a high court misdemeanor (procedurally treated like a felony) and is punishable by up to two years in prison.

Lansing Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney

Being charged with rape can have life-altering consequences that may be irreversible. If you have been charged with rape, accused of rape, or under investigation for rape do not speak to the police or take any polygraph tests! Contact Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to a Michigan sex crimes defense attorney at (517) 614-1983 today!

Defending sex crimes and allegations of rape, CSC, and molestation throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Jackson, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Washtenaw, Barry, Genesee, Shiawassee in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Hastings, Flint, Corunna, Durand.

 

Michigan Prostitution Laws

Prostitution

Lansing Michigan Prostitution Defense Attorney

 

While most prostitution charges in Michigan are misdemeanors, it can be a felony for subsequent offenses which means you could go to prison. You can even be placed on the sex offender registry if convicted of certain prostitution offenses.

What is Prostitution

Michigan law doesn’t specifically define prostitution, so the common law dictionary definition applies. Essentially, prostitution is engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money or something of value.

What is Solicitation

Solicitation is when someone seeks the services of a prostitute (commonly known as a “john”). A person is guilty of solicitation by accosting, soliciting, or inviting someone to engage in prostitution or any other lewd or immoral act while in a building, vehicle, or public place.

What is Pimping and Pandering

Pandering (or “pimping”) is when someone gets a prostitute for someone else. The pimp or panderer is the “middle man” for the transaction.

Other Prostitution Crimes

“Inducing” a woman to become a prostitute is a separate crime in Michigan and is a felony. Inducing (strongly encouraging) is a different crime than pandering. Someone who knowingly shares the earnings of a prostitute is guilty of a felony. Knowingly transporting a female through or into the state for the purposes of prostitution is guilty of a felony. Maintaining or leasing a house for the purposes of prostitution (“bawdy house”) is a felony. Renting a house to someone knowing they are using it for prostitution is a misdemeanor.

Penalties for Prostitution and Solicitation Offenses

First Offense Prostitution or Solicitation– Misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.

Second Offense Prostitution or Solicitation—Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.

Third or more Offense Prostitution or Solicitation—Felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or $2,000 in fines.

Pandering, Receiving the Earnings of a Prostitute, or Transporting a Female for Prostitution– These are felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Leasing a House used for Prostitution—Misdemeanor punishable by up to 182 days in jail and/or $750 in fines.

Maintaining a Prostitution House—Felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $2,500 in fines.

Collateral Consequences of a Prostitution Conviction

In addition to possible incarceration, probation, or being fined, there are other consequences for being convicted of a prostitution offense. You will be prohibited from working in a public school in any capacity under MCL 380.1230. If you are convicted of pandering, you will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). That will impact where you live, work, or even hang out in addition to having your name, photo, residential and employment information being plastered on a public forum.

Michigan Prostitution Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with prostitution, pandering, solicitation, maintaining or leasing a house of prostitution, or human trafficking, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney today!

Defending prostitution, pandering, solicitation, and bawdy house charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Clinton, Gratiot, Eaton, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Barry, Calhoun in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Ithaca, Charlotte, Brighton, Howell, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Hastings, Battle Creek.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent Exposure

Lansing Michigan Indecent Exposure Defense Lawyer

Indecent exposure is a crime under Michigan law. It ranges from exposing oneself (i.e. flashing) to someone touching their private areas in public. A person is guilty of indecent exposure by knowingly making any open or indecent exposure of his or her person to another person. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. If the indecent exposure includes any fondling of the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or breasts (if female), it is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or $2,000 in fines. If the defendant was a sexually delinquent person at the time of the offense, the punishment can be anywhere from one day in jail to life in prison.

Disorderly Conduct

If it is your first offense, a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor to lower the charge. A common plea option would be disorderly conduct. This is the lowest level misdemeanor that exists. It is punishable by up to 90 days in jail but it is rare that anyone goes to jail on a 90-day misdemeanor. Disorderly conduct is a catch-all for several offenses. It includes:

  • Refusing or neglecting to support your family
  • Common prostitution
  • Window peeping
  • Public intoxication
  • Indecent or obscene public conduct
  • Vagrancy, public begging, loitering in a public place of illegal business including prostitution or house of ill fame
  • Jostling or roughly crowding people unnecessarily in public

Sex Offender Registry (SORA)

If convicted two times of indecent exposure involving fondling, you will have to register as a Tier I sex offender. If convicted three times of disorderly conduct or indecent exposure (or a similar local ordinance), you will have to register as a Tier I sex offender.

Urinating in Public

This is just what it sounds like. Urinating in public charges are local ordinances usually punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a few hundred dollars in fines. A lot of jurisdictions are willing to plead them down (especially for first offenses) to civil infractions such as littering, trespassing, or something similar. Some municipalities will do a deferred sentence for six months or so and at the end of that time period, provided you haven’t gotten charged with any more crimes and have paid your fines, the charge will be reduced to a civil infraction or dismissed. Each city, town, and municipality is different so it is important to have an attorney representing you who is familiar with the city prosecutor and judge you will be facing for the charge. Contrary to popular myth, you are not placed on the sex offender registry for simply urinating in public. There would have to be some other aggravating factors such as children or other people present which could elevate it to a charge a indecent exposure or something similar.

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, or urinating in public, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC today to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney at (517) 614-1983. We can help mitigate the harm and help you avoid a criminal conviction or the sex offender registry.

Defending indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, and urinating in public charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Livingston, Jackson counties in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, St. Johns, Jackson, Brighton, Howell, Jackson.

 

Special Accommodations in Sex Crime Cases

Sex Crimes 2

Lansing Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a sex crime is a frightening and humiliating experience for most defendants. Even the mere allegation has the power to forever change someone’s life. Not only is prison time almost a given in most cases, but there are additional punishments such as being labeled a sex offender and being compelled to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) and the public scorn that goes along with it. Not only are sex crimes unique with its “dual punishment” but the courtroom procedures are specifically altered as well. These are known as “special accommodations.”

Screenings or Shielding

In some cases, the court may allow the complaining witness (“victim”) to be shielded from the defendant while testifying. This could be accomplished by simply having the defendant and prosecutor switch tables so the witness is not direct in view of the defendant, or it could involve placing a barrier in between the witness and the defendant, such as a chalkboard. However, the defendant must still be able to see and hear the witness and be able to communicate with his attorney. Sometimes the court may exclude all unnecessary persons from the courtroom.

The court will base its decision on a number of factors “necessary to protect the welfare of the witness.” The court takes into consideration the age of the witness and the nature of the offense. If the witness and/or the witness’s family or guardian desire to have the witness testify in a room closed to the public, the court will be taken into consideration. Often these occur when the complaining witness is a child or minor. At trial, the same accommodations can be given in addition to the attorneys being ordered to stand at the podium infront of the witness stand to ask questions of all witnesses.

According to MCL 600.2163a(9)(a)-(c), the judge must consider these factors on the record when making his decision. The prosecutor must give notice to the defendant that they are seeking to use a shield or screening so the defendant has an opportunity to object. However, such objections usually fall on deaf ears as caselaw supports these special accommodations although they can be highly prejudicial by suggesting to the jury that the defendant is someone to be feared and the witness is right to be fearful of him. It elevates the rights of a witness above the Constitutional rights of the defendant.

Support Person

The prosecution may also seek to allow a support person to accompany the complaining witness when testifying. Under MCL 600.2163a(4) and MCL 712A.17b(4), a child or developmentally disabled witness must be permitted to have a support person with them or be in close proximity to the witness while testifying. This applies to all stages of proceedings, not just trial. The prosecutor must serve a Notice of Intent upon the defendant and all other parties stating the name of the support person and their relationship to the witness. The support person is just to comfort the witness by their presence; they are not allowed to coach the witness or speak to them while they are testifying. The court and defense counsel should be cognizant of the potential for unduly suggestive nonverbal communication between the support person and the witness.

Michigan Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a sex crime can have a devastating impact on your life and the lives of those around you. Even if you are just being investigated, you need legal representation. Never, ever agree to talk to the police, CPS, or take a polygraph without first consulting with a lawyer. If you are facing criminal sexual conduct (csc) charges, call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan CSC defense lawyer.

Defending sex crimes, CSC charges, and SORA violations throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Kent, Barry in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, Corunna, Durand, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Hastings. 

Michigan SORA Registration Requirements

SORA 2

Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) Requirements

 

If you have been convicted of a listed sex offender under MCL 28.721, on or after October 1, 1995 you must comply with a number of requirements under the Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA). If you were convicted prior to that date but still incarcerated, on probation, or on parole when the law went into effect, you have to comply. The severity of the convicted offense will determine what tier offender you are which dictates what requirements you are obligated to perform and for what length of time. Most SORA requirements are universal and I will discuss them in detail.

 

Verify Your Residence to Your Local Policy Agency

 

Tier I– Must verify your residence once a year between January 1-15. You must do this for 15 years.

 

Tier II– Must verify your residence twice a year: January 1-15 and July 1-15. You must do this for 25 years.

 

Tier III– Must verify your residence four times a year: January 1-15, April 1-15, July 1-15, and October 1-15. You must do this for Life.

 

You Must Report the Following Changes Within Three (3) Business Days

 

  • Change in residence or domicile
  • Temporary lodging information more than seven (7) days (other than permanent residence)
  • Change in employment, including discontinuation
  • Vehicle information– owned and operated by the offender, including discontinuation
  • Legal name changes
  • Email addresses and screen names
  • Enrollment or discontinuation in an institute of higher learning

 

You Must Report the Following Information During Your Scheduled Verification Reporting

 

  • Any new telephone numbers or discontinuation of previous telephone numbers
  • Copies of passport or immigration documentation
  • Occupational licensing information

 

Other Requirements

 

  • Annual registration fee of $50 (can be waived if you are indigent)
  • Must maintain a valid Michigan driver’s license or identification card
  • Sign all required registration forms
  • Must not reside, work, or loiter within 1,000 feet of a school (if you lived or worked within 1,000 feet of a school before the school safety zone was enacted on January 1, 2006 you can be grandfathered in and not forced to quit your job or relocate)

 

Penalties for Noncompliance

 

Failure to Register– punishable by up to four years in prison and $2,000 in fines

 

Failure to Comply with Verification Duties– punishable by up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines

 

Failure to Sign Registration Form– punishable by up to 93 days in jail and $1,000 in fines

 

Failure to Pay a Fee– punishable by up to 90 days in jail

 

Failure to Change or Update Your Address

 

First Offense– punishable by up to four years in prison and $2,000 in fines

Second Offense– punishable by up to seven years in prison and $5,000 in fines

Third Offense– punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines

 

Failure to Abide by School Safety Zone

 

First Offense– punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines

 

Second and all subsequent Offenses– punishable by up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines

 

Confidentiality Provision

 

Anyone who divulges, uses, or publishes registration information about an offender is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $500 in fines. The sex offender also has a cause of action for civil damages against the responsible party.

 

If I’m Homeless do I Have to Verify my Address?

 

Yes. The Michigan Supreme Court held in People v Dowdy, that homeless sex offenders need to register as 123 Homeless in the city in which they perpetually stay or are perpetually homeless. This judicial interpretation was later incorporated into SORA amendments in 2011. They have to report this temporary lodging every seven (7) days until they secure a permanent residence.

 

If I was Given Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) status, do I Have to Register?

 

No. For purposes of SORA, a deferred sentence under HYTA is not a conviction. The Michigan Supreme Court held that forcing offenders to register under SORA for convictions that do not appear on their public record is cruel and unusual punishment.

 

Being on the Sex Offender Registry comes with a great deal of responsibility and life altering consequences that for some last a lifetime. If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime or charged with a SORA violation, contact a Michigan Sex Offense Registry Act attorney or sex crimes lawyer at Austin Legal Services, PLC. Call (517) 614-1983 today!

 

Defending Sex Crimes and SORA violations throughout the state of Michigan and in the counties of: Ingham, Eaton, Jackson, Clinton, Barry, Shiawassee, Kent, Washtenaw and in the cities of: Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, Jackson, St. Johns, Ann Arbor, Corunna, Howell, Brighton, Jackson, and Grand Rapids. 

Michigan Sex Offender Registry (SORA)

SORA

 This is an act requiring defendants convicted of certain sex crimes to register on the list of sex offenders known as SORA. Depending on what type of offense you were convicted of will determine whether you register on a public or non-public list, the duration of how long you have to be on the list, and how many times per year you have to verify your residence. Some sex offenses do not require registration.

 Public vs Non-public List

Some offenders are only required to register on a non-public list, meaning only law enforcement officials have access to the information. Most offenders have to register on a public list (PSOR), meaning the information you have to provide (name, aliases, address, convicted offense, employment, duration of registration) is available to anyone who searches for sex offenders in a particular geographic location or for your name.

The Tier System

Under the new SORA laws, the Michigan legislature demonstrated some wisdom in establishing a classification for sex offenses and sex offenders instead of lumping everyone and every offense under the same umbrella. The result was the creation of a three-tiered system, ranging from least to worst on the severity of the offense. The type of tier offense you were convicted of dictates the length of registration and its requirements as well as the procedures and eligibility for petitioning for removal.

Tier I

If you are convicted of any of the following offenses, you will be classified as a Tier I Sex Offender:

  • Knowingly possessing sexually abusive material involving children (public)
  • Indecent exposure with fondling of self and if the victim is a minor (public)
  • Unlawful imprisonment or restraint of a minor (public)
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 4th Degree of a minor
  • Assault with Intent to Attempt Sexual Assault of a minor
  • Surveillance, dissemination, or transmission of any recording, photograph, or visual image of a minor that has a reasonable expectation of privacy (public)
  • Assault with Intent to Commit CSC in the Second Degree, if the victim is more than 17 years of age
  • Capturing/Distributing Image of Unclothed Person, if the victim is less than 18 years of age (public)
  • Any violation of state law or local ordinance that by its nature constitutes a sexual offense against an individual who is less than 18 years of age.
  • Any offense committed by a person who was, at the time of the offense, a sexually delinquent person.
  • Any offense substantially similar to a listed offense under federal law, any state, or any country or under tribal or military law.

This list is both public and non-public depending on the offense. All Tier I offenses were initially non-public when the tier system was created in 2011. However, amendments to SORA in early 2013 allowed for some Tier I offenses to be placed back on the public list.

 

Registration is required for 15 years with eligibility to petition for removal after 10 years

Residency must be verified once a year between January 1-15t

Tier II

If you are convicted of any of the following offenses, you will be classified as a Tier II Sex Offender:

  • Accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child less than 16 years old with the intent to induce or force that child to commit an immoral act
  • Persuading, inducing, enticing, coercing, causing, or knowingly allowing a child to engage in sexually abusive activity for the purpose of producing sexually abusive material involving children
  • Distributing, promoting, or financing the distribution or promotion of, or receiving any sexually abusive material involving children for the purposes of distributing or promoting such material
  • Using the internet to solicit or commit an immoral act, except for violations under MCL 750.157c (coercing a minor to commit a felony)
  • Sodomy against a minor, unless either of the following exist: 1) victim was between the ages of 13-16, victim consented, and victim was no more than a four-year age difference  between victim and offender, or 2) victim was at least 17 years old, victim consented, and victim was not under the custodial authority of the offender
  • Gross Indecency, where the victim is between the ages of 13-18 unless either of the following exist: 1) victim was between the ages of 13-16, victim consented, and victim was no more than a four-year age difference  between victim and offender, or 2) victim was at least 17 years old, victim consented, and victim was not under the custodial authority of the offender
  • Soliciting to commit prostitution with a minor
  • Pandering (enticing a female to become a prostitute)
  • CSC 2nd Degree, if the victim is at least 18 years old
  • CSC 4th Degree is the victim is between the ages of 13-18
  • Assault with the intent to commit or touch a victim between the ages of 13-18
  • Convicted of a Tier I offense after previously being convicted of a Tier I offense

This list is a public list

Registration is required for 25 years

Residency must be verified twice a year: January 1-15 and July 1-15t

Tier III

If you are convicted of any of the following offenses, you will be classified as a Tier III Sex Offender:

  • Gross indecency between either males or females where complaining witness is less than 13 years old
  • Gross Indecency between both males and females where complaining witness is less than 13 years old
  • Kidnapping against a minor
  • CSC 1st Degree (Does not apply where the complaining witness consented, the complaining witness is between 13-16 years old, and there is less than a four year age difference between the complaining witness and offender)
  • CSC 2nd Degree where the complaining witness is less than 13 years old
  • CSC 3rd Degree (Does not apply where the complaining witness consented, the complaining witness is between 13-16 years old, and there is less than a four year age difference between the complaining witness and offender)
  • CSC 4th Degree where the offender is older than 17 and the complaining witness is less than 13 years old
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Penetration (Does not apply where the complaining witness consented, the complaining witness is between 13-16 years old, and there is less than a four year age difference between the complaining witness and offender)
  • Assault with Intent to Commit a Touch (sexual assault) where the complaining witness is less than 13 years old

This is a public list

Registration is required for LIFE

Residency must be verified four times a year: January 1-15, April 1-15, July 1-15, and October 1-15

Do Convictions for all Sex Crimes Require SORA Registration

This is a frequently asked question and thankfully the answer is “No.” There are some offenses that you can be convicted of that do not put you on the list. These few options can be used as plea bargains, normally reserved for weak cases or where the victim is very reluctant or un-cooperative. An experienced Michigan sex crimes attorney knows which offenses these are and can use weak spots in the case as leverage during plea negotiations to help keep a defendant from registering.

Can I Petition for Removal from SORA?

Maybe. Depending on what you were convicted of, when, and under what circumstances will dictate if and when you can petition to discontinue registering under SORA. For a more detailed discussion on this issue click here. 

 

Being charged with any kind of sex crime can have long lasting impacts on your life and future. Not only will you be convicted of a felony and face serious prison time, but you may have to register as a sex offender under SORA possibly for the rest of your life. This affects your career prospects, where you live, where you work, and your community reputation. Many become frustrated as the system seemingly has installed a permanent roadblock preventing rehabilitation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer with experience in sex crimes defense. We can help you fight your case and keep you off the list. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to a sex crimes attorney today at (517) 614-1983.

Defending sex crimes throughout Michigan and in the counties of: Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Barry, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw and in the cities of: Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Bath, Charlotte, Jackson, Ann Arbor