SEX OFFENDER REGISTRANTS CAN’T LIVE WHERE THEY WANT
Oct. 21, 2019
A sex offense conviction could have severe consequences on a person’s life. Aside from incarceration and fines, they might also be required to submit their personal information to local law enforcement. Their name, date of birth, physical description, and other identifiers get put into a sex offender registry. Although lawmakers established the registration requirement to protect the public and reduce recidivism, it creates various challenges for the individual, including having difficulty finding a place to live.
Limitations on Living Near Schools
According to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), a convicted sex offender is prohibited from living, working, or standing within 1,000 feet of school property. This law restricts a person’s ability to find adequate housing, a job, and to participate in their child’s school activities.
The law might not apply if the person:
Was living in their house on or before January 1, 2006
Is under 19 years of age, attending school, and living with their parents
Is under 26 years of age, has special needs, and lives with parents or in a group home
Restrictions on Subsidized Housing
In addition to the state’s law limiting where a convicted sex offender can reside, federal statutes also prohibit an individual from living in certain places. If a person is required to register for life, they cannot live in federally subsidized housing.
A person is subject to lifetime sex offender registration if they were convicted for specific offenses, including:
Sexual assault regardless of the alleged victim’s age
Sexual contact with children under 13 years of age
Nonparental kidnapping of a minor
Subsidized housing offers reduced rents for people with low- or moderate-income. Because the sex offender registration requirement could make it difficult for a person to find a well-paying job, they might need assistance when trying to find a place to live. Unfortunately, their application for a government program will be denied because of the individual’s legal reporting obligations.
Evictions from Homes
Technically, the law prohibits a landlord from solely referring to sex offender registration requirements when deciding whether or not to rent to a person. However, if they feel that the potential renter poses a danger to the neighborhood or the home is near a school, they could deny the applicant or evict the renter.
Additionally, a landlord might ask future tenants about previous convictions. If the person falsely states that they were never found guilty of a crime, and the landlord later sees the renter’s information on a sex offense registry, they could deny housing because of a breach of contract.
Limitations on Homeless Shelters
Being required to register as a sex offender could make it difficult to find a job or house. In need of a place to live, the individual might turn toward homeless shelters. Whether or not the facility will take in a registered sex offender depends on its rules. In cases where a shelter allows the individual, it might be only for a couple of days. Additionally, if the facility is near a school, the person would not be allowed to stay there.
For Dedicated and Results-Driven Legal Counsel, Contact Oliver Law Group P.C.
Sex offender registration requirements place numerous challenges on an individual trying to get their life back together after completing a conviction sentence. Housing restrictions make it difficult to settle down, and constantly moving might make it tougher to find a stable job, limiting income and the ability to purchase necessities such as food and clothes.
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, our attorneys are ready to provide the legal help you need to fight charges. When you retain our services, we will be dedicated to developing an effective defense and working toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Discuss your case with our team during a free consultation by calling us or contacting us online.