Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Things to Know about Sex Offender Registration in Massachusetts

Law enforcement in Somerset helped the Massachusetts State Police as well as the United States Marshals with the arrest of a man on a warrant issued by the state of Illinois over not adhering to sex offender registration laws.

The man was arrested near a Somerset location where he was living with a relative. The man has a violent criminal history. Data provided by the Illinois Sex Offender Registry reveals that the man was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault with a firearm against a victim under 18 years old. 

Various sex offender laws in Massachusetts exist, and it is critical that anyone who is convicted of a qualifying sex offense in the state both understand and follow these regulations. This article reviews some of the most important aspects of sex offender registration law.

Required Registration

A person in Massachusetts convicted of a sex crimes is required to register as a sex offender with the Sex Offender Registry Board. To inform the public and keep others safe, the board collects a list of all sex offenders registered in Massachusetts and classifies these individuals based on the severity of the offense. The board requires people convicted of sex crimes in the state to provide not their names but also their date of birth, place of birth, sex, race, weight, social security number, home address, work address, and a description of the offense. 

The Classification Level

In Massachusetts, sex offenders are divided into three separate categories. Classification involves two separate steps. First, the board provides a recommendation about the registration duty as well as classification. The person charged with the offense is then permitted to submit evidence on his or her own behalf. Following a preliminary hearing, a board sends a recommendation. If a person accepts the recommendation, it becomes final. If a person rejects the recommendation, a person has a right to a hearing. The following three classifications exist:

  • One. The most extreme classification, this category means that the board decides the risk of recurrence is low and a minimum danger exists. 

  • Two. This category involves a moderate recurrence risk and a potential threat presented to the public’s safety. A person classified as level two must re-register annually at the local law enforcement station. Information about level two offenders can be accessed at the local police department. 

  • Three. If the board decides that a person’s risk of recurrence is high and a substantial degree of dangerousness is presented to the public, a person is classified as a level three offender. Level three registration details are available through both the local police department and the sex offender registry. Police departments share these details to the surrounding community.

Registration Length

The required registration length varies from as little as 20 years and as much as life and depends on the sexual offense involved. Sex offender regulations require a person to register for 20 years if that individual is convicted of one offense or if the act was committed as a juvenile. If the act involved a child, is violent, or the person convicted had any previous charges, the person must register for life. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Knowledgeable Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex offense in Massachusetts, you can end up facing serious penalties. One of the best steps that you can take in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.