Collateral Consequences of a Detroit Sex Crimes ConvictionJan 15, 2019, by Sex Crimes in
A Detroit sex crimes conviction entails more than just prison time and fines. In addition to these criminal penalties, you will also face numerous collateral consequences as a result of your conviction. Depending on the severity of the offense you committed, you may have to register as a sex offender for 15 years up to life. Your sex crime conviction will be public knowledge, which entails serious consequences for your personal and professional reputations. You will confront these challenges in addition to long term difficulties in finding employment and housing, as experienced by other categories of criminal offenders.
How Long Do Sex Offenders Need to Register in Michigan?
As of late 2017, there were almost 44,000 registered sex offenders in Michigan, 11,000 of which were still behind bars. Upon their release from prison, sex offenders must registering their address, place of employment, photo, vehicles, and social security number with their local authorities. The length and requirements of the sex offender registry depend on which tier you fall into.
If you’re a Tier 1 offender you must register once per year for 15 years following your conviction or release from prison. You will be categorized as such after committing any of the following offenses:
- Aggravated indecent exposure towards a minor
- Unlawful imprisonment of a minor
- Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree
- Criminal sexual assault of an adult
- Stalking of a minor
If you fall under Tier 2, you must register twice per year with the authorities for a 25 year period. A Tier 2 classification follows a conviction for any of the offenses below:
- A second conviction for a Tier 1 offense
- Accosting or soliciting a minor
- Creating or distributing of child pornography
- Using a computer in the commission of a sexual felony
- Sodomy of a minor (with exceptions)
- Gross indecency
- Criminal sexual conduct of the second or fourth degree
- Criminal sexual assault of a minor older than 13
A Tier 3 classification requires you to register four times per year for the rest of your life, and results from any of the following convictions:
- Any sexual offense committed while registered as a Tier 2 offender
- Gross indecency with a minor under 13
- Parental kidnapping
- Kidnapping of a minor
- Criminal sexual conduct of the first or third degrees
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault (with exceptions)
- Criminal sexual conduct of the second degree or criminal sexual assault against a minor under the age of 13
- Criminal sexual conduct of the fourth degree against a minor under the age of 13 (and you are over 17)
What Are the Penalties for Failing to Comply With the Sex Offender Requirements?
The Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) provides the following penalties for your failure to comply with the conditions of the sexual offender registry:
- Failure to register–Up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine
- Failure to comply with verification obligations–Up to two years in prison and a $2,000 in fines
- Failure to update your address–Up to four years in prison and $2,000 in fines for a first offense
- Failure to sign registration form–Punishable by up to 93 days in jail and $1,000 in fines
- Failure to pay the registration fee–Up to 90 days in jail
The registration requirements can be complex, and as these penalties demonstrate, a failure to comply carries serious consequences. If you get charged with violating the registration requirements, you may also lose your chance at parole or probation. When you get convicted of a sex crime, it is imperative that you understand exactly your sex offender requirements and that you strictly adhere to them.
Collateral Consequences Extend Far Beyond Registration as a Sex Offender
As a convicted sex offender, you can expect many of the same difficulties as other types of criminal offenders in obtaining employment. According to the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office, two thirds of employers will not hire someone with a criminal background. Those employers that do hire ex-offenders may be willing to look beyond a conviction for assault or driving under the influence. But sex offenses carry so much stigma that you may find it impossible to find employment after your conviction.
In addition to employment, sex offenders may face issues in finding suitable housing. Although private landlords are not allowed to evict a lawful tenant only because of their criminal record, they can evict if the tenancy was in someway connected with the criminal activity. For example, if the production of child pornography or a sexual assault occurred in your apartment, the landlord may evict you. Furthermore, private landlords are free to deny housing to a prospective tenant because of their criminal history. If that criminal history involves sex offenses, a denial is all the more likely.
Your sexual offense conviction will generally bar you from receiving public housing assistance. This means that you and your whole family could be evicted or lose housing subsidies because of your sex crime conviction. If you are considering to apply for public housing, Michigan law bans Tier 3 offenders from receiving housing assistance. If you are in Tier 1 or Tier 2, however, it may still be possible to apply for housing benefits.
Any conviction for a sexual offense–no matter the level of seriousness–may have devastating consequences for noncitizens. The Immigration and Naturalization Act INA precludes noncitizens from receiving permanent residence status and some visas if they’ve been convicted for “acts of moral turpitude.” In practice, the definition of moral turpitude has proven to be wide, and encompasses just about every offense that is sexual in nature.
Fight Your Sex Crimes Charges with A Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer
Once you are convicted of a sex crime, there is little you can do to avoid these collateral consequences. This is why it so important for you to fight your conviction while you still can. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, you should take every step possible to gain an acquittal or case dismissal. At the Davis Law Group, we have a proven track record of obtaining positive case outcomes for our clients when the stakes are high. To learn more about how you can defeat your sex crimes charges, call us today at (313) 818-3238 or use our online contact form for a free and confidential consultation.