In 1995, the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) went into effect, meaning convictions before that year may not have been listed on the books. However, requiring a sex offender to register after the fact as a “recapturing” is indeed constitutional, according to the state Court of Appeals.
Recapturing Is Constitutional
The decision came in People v. Tucker, which featured a sex offender convicted in 1990 of crimes that would have required registry under SORA. However, the conviction predated SORA by five years. In 2013, when the same defendant pleaded no contest to domestic violence charges, he asked to be removed from the registry because it increased his punishment after sentencing.
However, the court considered it a modification that had been waiting for the proper moment to be added to the record. That moment came when the defendant was convicted of another crime before the court. In cases such as these, an experienced sex offender attorney in Cass County can help fight through parts of the law that can seem abusive at times.
No Infliction of Punishment
The recapture could have been ruled unconstitutional if the defendant showed it was cruel and unusual punishment based on past offenses. However, the court affirmed that registering under the SORA is not a punishment but rather a protection for the public good. Forcing the defendant to register retroactively was simply a carrying out of the law.
Ex Post Facto Clauses protect against excessive punishments being added after sentencing because of a timing issue. The right sex offender attorney can help a client navigate through these tricky areas of the law and get the proper defense and outcome.
If you need expert counsel and representation in a sex offender case or other criminal matter, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com for further information.