What to Do with the Federal Decision re Michigan SORA
Recently, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled portions of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry law unconstitutional. This ruling will effect future restrictions and guidelines that registrants must follow in regards to school zones and reporting requirements. There are a lot of questions that surround the court’s ruling. To understand the details of this ruling and what’s at stake, it’s important to work with an experienced sex offender attorney.
For now the courts rulings only fully protect those who filed in the lawsuit, but this does open doors for others on the registry. The ruling found that the 1000-foot school safety zone is unconstitutional, because the boundaries of these zones are not clear. Even most law officials cannot tell where the zones begin or end. This doesn’t stop law officials from making possible arrests. It is still advised to not live, work or venture into these zones until the law has more clarity.
The ruling found that registrants do not immediately have to report new email addresses, instant messaging accounts, or other devices for postings and internet communications. However, registrants still must report such online communication tools by their regular verification dates. These should still be reported in-person. The court has not made a decision yet on whether or not in-person reporting is unconstitutionally burdensome.
It is best to keep up to date on the latest information surrounding the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act. With the recent court’s ruling the legislature may choose to rewrite some parts of the law that were questioned during ruling or it may work to provide stronger guidelines surrounding the law. The law will most likely change and registrant obligations will change as well. It’s important to follow these changes to avoid violations and penalties.
The Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, is an experienced and reputable sex offender attorney in Berrien County and surrounding areas ready to fight for your rights. There are many questions surrounding the ruling and you deserve the most freedom the law allows. If you feel that your rights have been violated or feel this ruling may affect your case, contact us for further assistance by scheduling an appointment at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.