Sex Offender Registration Lawyer in Washington State
Seattle Sexual Abuse Defense Attorneys
Many individuals who have to register as a sex offender mistakenly believe that the requirement to register as a sex offender automatically goes away after a period of time if you stay out of trouble, and for some offenses this is true. But for juvenile offenses and many of the more serious adult offense you have to file a petition to a judge and give notice to the prosecutor to request the removal of this requirement. For other adult offenses you can ask to have the requirement lifted in as little as 10 years, which again requires a petition be filed with the Court.
Given the current political climate surrounding sex offenders and sex offender registration, those who seek registration removal need to present a strong case that shows that they pose little to no threat to the community. Poorly drafted petitions with little to no documentation to support them are unlikely to help the person seeking removal of this invasive, burdensome requirement.
At The Meryhew Law Group, our defense team routinely files petitions to ask courts to remove this difficult requirement for our clients. We have successfully convinced courts to relieve clients of their registration obligations for a wide variety of sex offenses. Call us today for a free consultation to see if you are eligible for sex offender registration removal. Below are some commonly-asked questions pertaining to sex offender registration removal:
How many years do I have to wait after I've been convicted to ask the court to remove the requirement that I register as a sex offender?
It depends on the conviction. The requirement for some offenses will expire automatically after ten or fifteen years, and for others you must petition the Court or you will be required to register for the rest of your life. For those offenses where you must petition the Court to ask that the requirement be lifted, it is:
Discretionary Registration Removal
The Court MAY relieve some sex offenders of the duty if they are convinced the person does not pose a risk to the community.
10 Years before you can ask –Class A sex offenses committed before June 8, 2000 and all Class B sex offenses.
For all sex offenses committed before June 8, 2000, and for all Class B sex offenses committed after that date, any person having a duty to register under RCW 9A.44.130 may petition the superior court to be relieved of that duty, if the person has spent ten consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any new offenses (this includes any criminal offense). The Court does not have to grant this request, and will do so only if they are convinced the person does not pose a risk to the community.
For all sex offenses committed while the person was a juvenile and prosecuted in juvenile court, a person may petition the superior court to be relieved of that duty if the person has spent two consecutive years in the community without any new sex offenses or violent offenses.
Automatic Registration Removal
Offenses where the duty automatically expires after a period of time are:
- Class B Felony: 15 years following release from confinement as long as no new criminal offenses of any kind.
- Class C Felony: 10 years following release from confinement if no new offenses.
- Gross Misdemeanor: 10 years following release from confinement if no new offenses.
Note: Just because the law says your duty has expired does not mean the Sheriff or police will automatically take you off the rolls. Sometimes we must convince them to make that change, and you should not count on this happening automatically.
How can I remove the requirement that I register as a sex offender?
Once you have been in the community long enough without any new criminal offenses, our defense attorneys can file a petition in the superior court where you were convicted to request that the judge remove this requirement.
What information will the court consider in deciding whether to remove the requirement that I register as a sex offender?
You must convince the court by "clear and convincing evidence" that further registration will not serve the purposes of the registration statute. While the statute does not list specific factors, based on our experience, we have identified those considerations that courts prefer to review in deciding whether to grant these petitions.
What information will you use to convince the judge that I shouldn't have to register as a sex offender?
Our petitions include a detailed history about you that will include information about your:
- Employment history
- Education history
- Mental health history
- Relationship history
- Counseling history
- Substance abuse history (if applicable)
- Sex offender treatment history
- Criminal history
- Support network
- Impact of registration on your life
- Letters of support from your family and friends
We work closely with you to develop compelling reasons for why you should no longer have to register as a sex offender.,We work closely with you to develop compelling reasons for why you should no longer have to register as a sex offender.
How will you develop this information?
When you meet with our attorneys, we will ask you to sign releases for any counseling and treatment records. We will meet with you several times to take a complete social history so that we can advocate for you as strongly as possible to the judge. If necessary, we will assist you in obtaining updated sexual deviancy evaluations and sexual history polygraphs to show the court that you pose little to no risk of committing a new crime. We will also contact any law enforcement or Department of Corrections officials who can speak well of your compliance with your judgment and sentence.
Is removing the requirement to register the same as removing the record of my conviction?
NO.Removing the requirement to register will have no impact on removing the record of your conviction. To remove the record of conviction, you must file a separate motion to vacate the record of conviction. Like the sex offender registration removal requirements, these requirements are complicated and require a thorough understanding of the law. To determine if you are eligible to have your conviction vacated, please call our office to set up an appointment. The Sex Crimes Information Center on our website also has information on vacation of convictions which can help you.
Get it right the first time.
Seeking relief from sex offender registration requires a thorough, detailed understanding of the laws. Courts can be unforgiving if you don't follow all of the rules with precision. When you need help removing your sex offender registration, call the lawyers who work on these issues every day.