Understanding Sex Offender Registries [infographic]

Conviction of a sex crime in Minnesota requires registration as a sex offender. Unfortunately, even the accusation of a sex crime can carry social implications that affect the jobs, relationships and community standings of the accused. Anyone who has been contacted by law enforcement, or any entity requesting sex offender registration information should consult with a sex crime attorney.

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Some Required to Register Without a Sex Crime Conviction

Certain sex crimes require mandatory registration as a sex offender, even if the individual is convicted or pleads guilty to a lesser offense. The offense can be as minimal as disorderly conduct. Essentially, even those who don’t plead guilty to a sex crime requiring sex offender registration might find themselves in a position where registration is required.

This does not automatically condemn anyone charged with a sex crime. A sex crime attorney will, however, have to prove that the accused did not commit the crime.

One Minnesota law requiring certain offenders to receive court-ordered sex offender treatment after the conclusion of their prison sentences has come under fire. Over 700 of these civilly committed sex offenders have sued the state, claiming that keeping them in the program indefinitely is unconstitutional. In July of 2015, a Federal judge agreed, setting the stage for sweeping changes to Minnesota’s sex offender laws in the coming years.

Sex Crime Offenses that Require Registration in Minnesota

There are several convictions that require mandatory registration under Minnesota law. These offenses include:

  • Kidnapping and False Imprisonment
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Felony Indecent Exposure
  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Using a minor in a sexual performance
  • Possession of pictorial representation of minors

Registrants must register for a minimum period of 10 years, or for the duration of their probation, whichever is longer. In some cases, registrants are required to register for life.

Serious Consequences for Those who Fail to Register

Any offender who fails to register is subject to an additional 5 years of registration. In addition, a first time Failure to Register conviction comes along with a year-long prison sentence. Subsequent Failure to Register convictions may result in a minimum 2 year prison stay. Any period of incarceration requires an additional 10 year registration period, which starts upon release from incarceration.

Failure to report any address, employment or school changes are considered an act of non-compliance. Vehicle ownership must also be registered. Registrants visiting from other states who stay longer than 14 days are also required to register with law enforcement. In order to become compliant, a registrant must report to their local law enforcement agency and complete a 3-page Change of Information form.

Understanding Risk Levels

The Minnesota Department of Corrections assigns risk levels to registrants who were released from prison after January 1 of 1997. This happens 90 days prior to their release from prison. There are three risk levels.

Risk Level 1- Least likelihood of re-offending

Risk Level 2- Moderate likelihood of re-offending

Risk Level 3- High likelihood of re-offending

Information regarding Level 3 offenders is made available to the public on the Department of Corrections website. When a Level 3 offender is released from prison, local law enforcement, victims or witnesses and certain agencies that serve at-risk populations may be notified. Community notifications may also be released to the general public, living within a three block radius from where a registrant will reside.

Around 75% of Minnesota sex crime registrants have not been assigned a risk level. Certain registrants, including juveniles those sentenced to probation and those sentenced in other states prior to July 1, 2005 do not receive risk levels.

Registrant Information is Available to the Public

With the full name and date of birth, a member of the general public can obtain basic information for free about a registrant through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s website. Detailed information is available by request through the District Court in the county where the offense occurred, though sometimes a fee is charged for this service.

Restrictions for Registrants

Though there are no provisions in Minnesota’s registration law that prohibit registered offenders from having contact with minors, restrictions may be a part of a registrants probation or parole requirements. The same concept applies to registrants’ ability to leave near a school or daycare center.

Though restrictions of this type do not exist under Minnesota law, some cities have passed local ordinances that prevent registrants from living in certain areas. Information on these local ordinances can be obtained by contacting the local City Hall or law enforcement office. Minneapolis does not have a local ordinance that restricts sex offender registrants, however, it does provide information regarding Level 3 offenders, free of cost, to the general public.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

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