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Sex Offender Registry Act

Fighting Against Michigan’s Unconstitutional SORA Since 2018

Michigan has one of the highest numbers of registered sex offenders in the United States, with nearly 44,000 people listed. This is partially due to the state’s contentious Sex Offender Registry Act, or SORA, which retroactively placed individuals on the list following amendments made in 2006 and 2011. The law was deemed unconstitutional in 2016—Oliver Law Group, P.C. and the ACLU successfully fought to change it in 2020, yet the ramifications of the act continue to affect people across the state. Our Troy criminal defense attorneys will not rest until the remnants of SORA no longer unfairly tarnishes the reputations of those whose offenses didn't match the law’s strict and ongoing punishments.

If you or a loved one has been negatively impacted by this unconstitutional law, reach out to Oliver Law Group, P.C. Our attorneys will help you fight for justice. Call (800) 771-6689 or contact us online to set up your free case evaluation today.

The Problems With SORA

SORA was ruled unconstitutional for several reasons. It violates the registered individuals’ right to privacy as well as wrongfully denies them protection against being punished for a crime after its commission and adjudication.

Frankly, the rules of SORA are extremely strict and unfair. The law—which is in the process of being updated— currently prohibits sex offenders from living or working within 1,000 feet of any school, requires them to surrender extremely personal information such as their email address and likeness, and forces them to report to the police four times a year or more. These rules currently apply to all people on the sex offender registry list, even if it has been decades since they have committed any crimes.

Victims of SORA also include individuals who pled guilty to charges when they were teenagers or young adults and completed the appropriate legal remedies at the time of plea. Many of their records were privatized due to their youth, and their inclusion on the sex offender registry was limited. However, under Michigan’s retroactive application of SORA amendments in 2006 and 2011, their registrations were made public and extended to life.

Updates to SORA

On February 14, 2020, a federal judge issued an official ruling invalidating the portions of SORA that were either ruled unconstitutional or deemed too vague to interpret. The state legislature has been given 60 days to come up with a new statute before the judgment goes into effect.

Though this is a huge win for which we fought diligently and are very proud of, it doesn’t mark the end of SORA just yet. Many people are still experiencing the negative consequences of being unjustly listed.

These consequences include:

  • Physical limitations, such as not being able to choose where they live and work
  • Psychological and emotional damages
  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Financial stress
  • Loss of familial or other relationships

For these reasons, we continue to fight for the rights of those registrants who were unjustly impacted by SORA. To those offenders who were charged at a young age or a long time ago, were wrongfully accused, or committed a very inconsequential crime, these punishments are simply unfair.

How We Can Help

Because inclusion on the sex offender registry list subjects registrants to a life of hurdles and harsh judgement—they often have trouble finding work, housing, and partnership—we believe in helping registrants find justice to make up for these transgressions.

Oliver Law Group, P.C. is the only private law firm in Michigan appointed as class counsel with the ACLU and the University of Michigan during the fight to change the Sex Offender Registry Act. We have been on the forefront of this issue since SORA was originally ruled unconstitutional in 2016 and we are the only local law firm that fought to change the law—and succeeded. By working with us, you can be confident that you have an attorney on your side who has been fighting for you for years.

To work with an attorney who has a history fighting the rights of registered sex offenders for years, contact us at (800) 771-6689.

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  1. "When you place your trust in the expert hands of our legal team, you are placing your trust in the hands of professionals who are committed to winning and achieving the best possible outcome for you. "
    - Alyson Oliver, Attorney and CEO
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