Generally, people who are convicted of committing a sex crime in Minnesota are sentenced to jail or prison time or hefty fines. In some cases, they may need to register as sex offenders, which entails appearing on the state’s sex offender registry and attending treatment programs for sex offenders.
Getting convicted of a sex crime and registering as a sex offender can have long-term negative impacts on an individual’s family and social life, making it much harder to integrate back into society. The potential consequences of a conviction make it important to build a strong defense early on when charged with a sex crime of any kind.
Who Is Required to Register as an Offender?
Certain convictions require residents in Minnesota to register as offenders. These convictions include:
- Felony indecent exposure
- Felony criminal sexual conduct of the first, second, third, or fourth degree
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Murder while committing or attempting criminal sexual conduct, whether in the first or second degree with violence or force
In addition, individuals will be required to register as sex offenders if convicted of false imprisonment of a minor or soliciting a minor to engage in sexual conduct or prostitution.
Individuals need to register if they are convicted of a sex crime in another state and wish to work, live, or attend school in Minnesota.
The information collected when registering as a sex offender in Minnesota includes the offender’s fingerprint card, photograph, and signed consent forms, along with addresses of any residences, addresses of property owned, rented, or leased in Minnesota, workplace addresses, and the make, model, year, color, and license plate numbers of vehicles owned or frequently driven.
A failure to comply with the registration requirements can lead to new felony-level charges of failure to register as a sex offender.
Registering as a Sex Offender for Soliciting a Prostitute
For some felony offenses involving the solicitation of a prostitute, individuals will need to register as sex offenders depending on the nature of the offense.
Prostitution offenses in Minnesota are taken very seriously, but the severity of a conviction will depend largely on the age of the victim. Individuals soliciting adult prostitutes aged 18 or older will face convictions of a misdemeanor-level offense, but they won’t be required to register as sex offenders. On the other hand, soliciting prostitutes under the age of 18 is considered a felony-level offense requiring sex offender registration.
Even if a case started as a felony-level offense and was reduced to a misdemeanor-level offense, individuals will still be required to register as predatory offenders. This is because Minnesota law only takes the initial charge into consideration when determining a person’s registration status.
How Long Are Offenders Required to Appear on the Registry?
The length of time in which people are required to appear on the registry can lead to a long-term negative impact on a person’s life, which is one of the reasons why it’s so serious.
Registrants on the Minnesota sex offender registry are required to register for a minimum of 10 years or the length of their probation period if the latter is longer. In some cases, registrants will need to register for life.
Additionally, convictions for any failure to register violations, such as neglecting to provide any information required by the state, could result in 5 additional years of registration. First-time convictions also face a possible prison sentence of one year and one day. Any subsequent convictions could result in a minimum two-year prison sentence. Regardless of the length of incarceration, any person serving prison time for Failure to Register convictions will need to register for a minimum of 10 years upon release.
How Registrants May Be Non-Compliant
People who register as sex offenders in Minnesota are required to provide information about primary and secondary addresses, along with addresses of employment or education and details about vehicles they own or operate. A failure to report this information is a Failure to Register violation. Noncompliance may also result if individuals fail to return verification forms, or if they fail to register if convicted of a similar crime in another state.
Registrants visiting Minnesota for a period exceeding 14 days will also be non-compliant if they fail to register with local law enforcement in the jurisdiction of where they’re staying.
The Importance of Acting Fast
The seriousness of becoming a registered sex offender in Minnesota makes it necessary for individuals to build a defense as soon as possible. It may be possible to avoid a conviction of a sex crime and the need to appear on the registry in Minnesota.