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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

In Massachusetts, a person convicted of certain offenses, deemed “sex offenses,” such as rape or child molestation, is considered a sex offender and must register as such. The following are some examples of crimes that require registration as a sex offender: assault with intent to commit rape, possession, dissemination or production of child pornography, enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse, drugging a person for sexual intercourse, unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 16, rape, indecent assault and battery, aggravated rape, forcible rape of a child, and disseminating to a minor matter harmful to a minor.

A convicted sex offender who knowingly fails to register, fails to verify registration information, fails to provide notification of a change of address, institution of higher learning, or place of employment may face charges for failing to register as a sex offender. Also, a convicted sex offender who provides false information can be charged. A person facing a charge for failing to register as a sex offender needs a skilled Massachusetts attorney to handle his or her case.

To convict a defendant of failing to register as a sex offender, a prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant lives, works, or is enrolled as a student in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
  2. The defendant was convicted of a crime that requires registration or has been determined to be a sexually dangerous person.
  3. The defendant knew that he or she was required to register, verify information, provide notice of change of place of employment, address, or institution of higher learning. The defendant must have possessed a conscious intent, design, or plan.
  4. The defendant did not do so.

A person convicted of failing to register as a sex offender is facing at least six months and up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction or up to five years in prison. They are also facing a fine of up to $1,000 or both a fine and imprisonment. A sex offender (convicted of an offense considered more serious, such as a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offense) convicted of failing to register as a sex offender may also face parole supervision for life. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense for failing to register as a sex offender is facing the possibility of five years in prison, and community parole for the rest of their life.

Anyone facing this charge needs a capable Massachusetts criminal defense attorney who handles failure to register as a sex offender cases. If you or a loved one is facing a charge, for failing to register as a sex offender, contact Attorney Cappetta today for a free consultation of your case.