Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
For example, a Sex Offender moving into Massachusetts must initially register with the Sex Offender Registry Board within two (2) days. Conversely, a Sex Offender moving out of Massachusetts only needs to notify the Sex Offender Registry Board within ten (10) days. Additionally, Level 2 or 3 Sex Offenders must appear at their local police stations in the community where they live to verify their registration data or to notify the Sex Offender Registry Board of certain changes in their status on a monthly basis.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 6, Section 178H provides that it is a crime for a person who is a designated Sex Offender to knowingly fail to register, fail to verify his information, or fails to provide notice of change of address, employment, school status or other false information to the Sex Offender Registry Board.
A first violation for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender provides a penalty for not less than 6 months and up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, as well as a $1000 fine. A second or subsequent violation for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender provides for an enhanced penalty for not less than 5 years in state prison.
Notwithstanding the above, however, persons who have been convicted of certain Sex Crimes, including Level 2 and 3 Sex Offenders, and are convicted of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender may face harsher penalties including being sentenced to Community Parole Supervision for Life, to be imposed upon the expiration of the committed sentence.
In order to be convicted of the crime of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender, the prosecutor is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant resides, is employed, or attends school in Massachusetts;
- That he/she was convicted of a Sex Crime requiring Sex Offender Registration and/or has been adjudicated as a Sexually Dangerous Person;
- That the defendant knew that he was required to register, verify registration data or provide notice of change of address to the Sex Offender Registry Board; and
- That the defendant failed to do so.
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