Will the new Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (SORA) allow you or a loved one to be removed from the sexual-offenders registry?  In many situations, the answer is yes. In others, it is unclear.

We have been closely tracking the changes to Michigan’s SORA law, and discussed these changes extensively on this blog.  These changes will go into full effect on July 1, 2011.  But what can this new law do for you if you have already been convicted of a listed offense and are on the registry?  If you were adjudicated as a juvenile offender, meet the “Romeo & Juliet” exception, or currently register for an offense that no longer requires registration, the new law allows you to petition the court to be removed. The experts and Kirsch & Satawa can help you get off the registry if you qualify under the statute.


The new law has revamped the procedure for petitioning for removal from the SORA, and has also added three new situations where a registrant can petition for complete removal.  Some defendants can petition the court to lower the registration requirement from 25 years to 10 years under certain circumstances.  Current MCL 28.728(c).  In addition, certain defendants can petition for complete removal from SORA.

First, juvenile offenders who were less than 14 years old at the time of their offense are eligible to petition for complete removal from the registry. New MCL 28.728(c)(3), (15)(a).

In addition, offenders who meet the “Romeo & Juliet” exception can also petition for complete removal.  New MCL 28.728(c)(3), (14).  Generally, to qualify the defendant must be able to show that the “victim” consented to the act, the victim was older than 13, and the defendant was no more than 4 years older than the “victim.”

One might think that defendants convicted of offenses that no longer require registration are automatically removed from the registry, but this is not the case.  The new law requires a petition for removal for current registrants whose offenses no longer require registration.  New MCL 28.728(c)(3), (15)(b).  Once a petition is filed, the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether the registrant meets the necessary conditions for removal.  In all situations, the “victim” of the offense has a right to attend the hearing and be heard.


The petition requirements can be tricky.  Like any legal issue, it is best to seek out the aid of an attorney who is an expert in an area of law to handle the process, complete the necessary filings, and represent you at the petition hearing.  At Kirsch & Satawa, we’ve been handling sex-offender cases for the better part of 20 years.  We are singularly qualified to work with you through the petitioning process.  If you believe you qualify for removal, please contact us.  We would be delighted to sit down and discuss your situation.

Mark A. Satawa practices in the area of criminal defense, specializing in sex crimes. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (www.NACDL.org), and is a frequent continuing legal education speaker on sex offenses, most recently at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education seminar on Proven Defense Strategies for Challenging Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases.

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  1. Butch says:

    It is time lawmakers were brought to task, anyone convicted under an uncostitutional or stupi law should be automatically exonerated when such laws (that shoulod have never been passed to begin with) are repealed. They shouldn’t have to go to court and spend more money because many of them were railroaded in the first place. I have seen boys as young a 11 years old on Michigan’s sex offender registry, what did they do get their wee wee caught in their zipper. It takes a moron to charge an 11 year old with a sex cime. Most 11 year olds don’t even know what sex is!

  2. Anthony Plummer-Yoder says:

    tI am bein chatged with failure to tegisyer just wjen I finf I fit under romeo n juliet law. I nneed it dropped and I want off. 15yrs I have complied. Have a lawyer but I want off I am awaiting havin a cab job next week so I will be able to pay in time. I need real help with confidence ta get me free. I am not a damn sex offender.my number is 808 312 9886 pls call me

  3. michael laing says:

    I was convicted of a csc 2nd degree in 2007 i was only 14 at the time the offence took place the victim waited 10 years before saying nething. at the time of the offense i was only 14 and she was 6 all that happened was that i put my mouth on her vagina but herpanties were not down there was no skin on skin contact and it only happened one time….. she waited til she was 16 before sating nethingabout it and she nevermentioned it til her class in school was discussing incest and rape an molestation then she didnt even say it happened to her all she said was that she knew someone who was molested…. she was supposedly having issues at school so her school counsler brought her in to talk to her and according to her counslers testimony i had to pull it out of her like she forced her to say nething. after that she waqs sent to carehouse and about two months later some detectives came to talk to me at my home in clawson michigan, so here i am just getting ready for workim 26 at this time and dthey question me about when i lived in ferndale michigan i said that i believedit was 96 then my father yelled from in the house 97 or 98 they then told me what they were questioning me about and never even read me my miranda rights. they set me up with a lie detector test but i couldnt make it because i didnt have gas in my car so they issueda warrant for me i turned myself into te ferndale police department spent about two weeks in jail and went to court on a first degree csc but the district judge dismissed it because the victim couldn’t remember what day year month or if her pants were up or down if her panties were up or down all her answers were i dnt knw and i dnt remember when questioned on the stand so he dismissed the csc first degree. then about three months later they took me to juvenile court to get it waived up to circuit cause i was no longer a juvenile the judge heard testimony from the detcetive about the case then waived it up because she said since i wasnt a juvenile nemore there was nuthing she could do with me or for me. after that it ws a couple of months before i went back to court they set it for jury trial in may 2007 again during the trial the victim testified but her testimony was different she said she couldnt remember exact details but she just knows sumthing happened then there was testimony from a child phsyc specialist the detective and the jury took several hours to delibereate they found me guilty on csc 2nddegree on may 22 2007 then i went to prison for 2 and a half years from july of 2007 to january 9 2009 while in prison i completed my sexoffender group while on parole from jan 2009 to jan 2011 i completed another year of sex offeneder group. so my question is bacially this was it legal for them to waive it to circuit from juvenile even though it was from when i was so young and there was no rape or penetration involved in the charge or evidence or accusation? also is it possible for me to get my name off the sex offender registry and have my records sealed? if you would be so kind as to call me in this matter i would greatly appreciate it my number is 606-215-9778 thank you very much for your attention in this matter


    michael scott laing

  4. Shana says:

    My boyfriend was convicted of a CSC 3rd Degree with Intent—so there was no penetration { they were in the same grade..she was 17..so no age issue –of course there’s more to the story but just stating the facts here}. He was 18 at the time and was young and stupid and just pleaded ‘guilty’…because the police “promised” he wouldn’t have any jail time. Once the trial was over in 1994 he spent some time in jail and was on probation for 3 years. When he went to sign the paperwork releasing him off probation THAT is when they said he was going to have to Register on the Sex Offender list..at that time they said he would be on it for 10 years…and of course that changed to 20 and now life. It has been 20 years since that offense and he has had NO other convictions…yet they put him in a TIER 3 level while people with in TIER 1 offender can have child porn?!?!?!!?… Seriously the TIER level is a joke….AND if he had a CSC 2nd degree w/intent it would have brought him to a TIER 1 level. Anyways…he now has a good job and a family and THIS is still looming…I don’t know if there is anything that can be done??… Thank you.

    • CJS says:

      He supposedly !!
      Still has chance to petition the court for reduced tier & possible removal within time, depending on state of which you reside. Petition court of where his case & formal sentencing took place as seems some states have different laws regarding these issue’s.
      Some have depending on type of action which took place , age difference within allot amount of 4 yrs between ages if person was at least 14 yrs of age and other of 18yrs . Just a couple of instances
      NY STATE / has yet to wake up to the
      > 21ST Century <
      Even though he could be denied he should still have this action by our so called laws he can do . That If if they havn't changed that law as well! LOL!!
      I would like to use the word "Rights" but that law also was changed.

  5. CJS says:

    I was charge 15 yrs. ago 2nd degree, when first arrested was told at hearing to admit to crime and could leave as simple as that “not even a week in county lock-up’ with no other issue governing me , no probation, nothing!! But would be charged with rape & register, ten yrs as an offender, due to me beleving “rape is a show of force” and no force done as she approached me and made moves I refused . Still after fighting case, I did 9 months in county because I refused to agree to said charge and to register as offender and then would be removed . After 9 months I agreed to lesser charged as was told all the other person had to do was fake cry and I would of been hung out to dry, she could lie her butt off but a simple fake tears would hang me! I aws not going to put my self in a prison for a lie so I lied and confessed and was let go? But still had to register for ten yrs & then be removed . The new law’s stopped this from happening.

    I lost a job:
    I had for 5 yrs. After I got out,which would of lasted until my retirement because of these laws. As my boss never asked if I had been arrested he would of never known unless wanted to. He was told by a tenant, whom the company I worked for had issue’s with & me, as I represented them. The tenant found out I was an offender, so I lost my job, I also had a part time job besides which I lost as well because of this issue.

    How can one go back into society, & reside and live and show they are not what was branded on them but a type of mistake accured. “To error is human to forgive devine”

    I have had a local law officer try to ruin a relationship I have had for 13 yrs. trying to make me look like some kind of animal, with a woman who knows my situation, but she is still with me today because she beleive’s me!!

    Living status has changed also, if your landlord finds out of your back ground your asked to move or evicted.

    Have had houses burn close to mine:
    Statements come back “be glad it wasn’t yours”?I know there’s different ways of taking that statement but other situations that have taken place tell me diff.

    I have had a previous neighbor harass my self & my common-law wife & almost have proof he broke car window’s, by statement’s he made to other’s

    First five yrs. of me living where I am:
    Because of town line issue’s one town knew where I was and did nothing said nothing until 5 yrs. later when state requesting something about an up to date photo and then and only then the second town who has over see of my location as town law enforcement over-lapp each other township, came to me and stated we didn’t even know you were here! But i did all required by state!
    They, the law officals stated:
    They could see I wasn’t a threat and normaly would put out a poster with info & picture but considering I was so long in community they felt no need to do so.
    As did a background check of my life so to speak of nd seen who I really am. > except for one officer<
    Who seem to have issue's with me and doesn't even know me! But seems to of not gotten any worst!
    What happened to the law which covered me for ten yrs. ago & said I would be removed/ the law that made this agreement?

    laws should be taken effect on day they are made & start from that point on, just like others that have been made and not affect laws from 7,8,9 10 yrs previous, and not affect previous agreements which took place at that point in time.
    Notice I said "laws" prior to change and did not dwell just on my issue alone!
    To those who were given legal option's and agreed in a court of law to those option's and documents were sign and agreed to by law offcial's who represent the law! Then the agreement should stand firm & be up-held until if any a date would change such! But still stand to that date, where as any actions after that the new law would prevail & take hold from that point on.
    As if any law was made how could one respect the law if every time it want to change it's statement of the action to be taken or "it's agreement" would be considered "a lie". Just to make one job more easy in Gov't!
    Just another lie !!!

  6. martin frazier says:

    I was wrongfully convicted of a 2nd degree, is everyone granted a hearing? Can the hearing if successful lead to expungement or perhaps relief of judgement

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