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I Want to Get off the Megan’s Law Registry Now!

Since the inception of Megan’s Law on October 24, 1995, many folks have been seeking to get off the registry. Now there’s hope.

First, let’s start with the basic understanding that society needs to be protected from people that commit crimes. That’s why there are prisons, probation officers, police, sheriffs, and courts. Second, one of the more reliable ways of protecting society is the prediction of future dangerousness. What happened in the past that makes this person possibly dangerous in the future? No one disagrees that society needs to be protected.

The history of Megan’s Law suggests that the Courts have been loath to find that registration is nothing more than a “civil penalty” or a “collateral civil consequence” to the commission of specific sexual crimes and similar offenses. Only until July of 2017, did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court render a holding that Megan’s Law or the newly designated Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) was unconstitutional as a violation of the ex post facto provisions of both the PA and United States Constitutions, among other things. See Com. v. Muniz.

Since 2017, other appellate courts in PA, including the Pennsylvania Superior Court have determined that the version of Megan’s Law that was or wasn’t in effect at the time the triggering offense occurred controls the individual’s registration. In fact, we have had several clients removed from registration because they were either only a 10-year registrant under a prior version and freshly-minted as a “Lifetime” registrant or the State Police completely misinterpreted the law and made the individual a registrant when, in fact, they shouldn’t have been on the registry at all.

The version of Megan’s Law or SORNA that was in effect when the triggering offense occurred controls your registration.

Let’s stress something again. The date your offense occurred controls your registration. Not the date you were released from prison, probation, parole, work release or even received notice from the State Police that you need to register. The date the offense happened… nothing else. So, if you were convicted of an offense prior to 1996, there is a very good likelihood that you don’t belong on the registry in the first place. Also, if you were convicted between April 1996 and May 2000, there’s a very good likelihood as well that you either do not have to register or only have to register for 10 years…not 15…not 25…not for a Lifetime.

For a consult, you may contact us via email. We do teleconferencing via Zoom® or can simply talk over the phone. For a free copy of our book, you may call, email, or write. The glossary contains background information regarding Megan’s Law and SORNA that you may be astonished to read.

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