Getting off the sex offender registry
Mr. McColl, a sex crime lawyer, has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of sex offender cases, from getting No-bills before the Grand Jury (that is, keeping an indictment from being returned); successfully trying aggravated sexual assault cases to a jury or a panel of “members” in a military court martial with resulting “not guilty” verdicts; filing successful applications for writs of habeas corpus to set aside convictions; and, preparing motions to have a client’s name removed from the sexual offender registry.
Contact Arch McColl now for a 30 minutes of free consultation on how to get off the sex offender registry.
Examples of sex offender registry removal cases successfully argued by Mr. McColl
Case Study 1
An example of sex offense lawyer McColl’s having set aside aggravated sexual assault convictions would be McColl’s getting back-to-back life sentences overturned from a State District Court in Denton County, Texas, because of an alleged sexual assault by the client of a 13-year-old.
Sex offense attorney McColl successfully (and accurately) convinced the Court that the conviction was erroneous and was able to free the client, who would never have been outside of prison for the rest of his life.
Case Study 2
An example of sex offender attorney McColl’s efforts in connection with drafting legislation was to get a bill sponsored by a State Senator and a State Representative from Dallas, to introduce companion bills whose purpose was to allow for a jury trial on the issue of mistake of fact of the age of the alleged victim, where the so-called victim had already created, in advance of the offense, a tangible object (such as a website or fake driver’s license) with the obvious purpose of deceiving the public as to his/her age.
Case Study 3
Another example of aggressive, innovative work in a sex-related criminal case occurred where McColl, on more than one occasion, has interviewed the underage, alleged victim on videotape before the police or Child Protective Service got involved; and, got the potential Complainant/victim to acknowledge that they were mistaken and/or that the offense did not happen; and, that they were just retaliating for having been punished (by a teacher or parent) or having been spurned because of their unsuccessful romantic advances ( e.g ., to a teacher). *
Process (or how to get off sex offender registry)
As for a client getting his name off the sex offender registry, that takes a combination of the following: A thorough knowledge of a complicated area of the law; intense scrutiny of all the case facts and the biographical facts of the client; imagination; resourcefulness; targeted persistence and a clean record of the client since the date of the entry of the judgment for the sexual offense. There is an interrelationship between the federal statutory scheme and any state statutory scheme. An effective legal strategy is to use the federal statutory scheme as leverage for the petition to get off the state registry. Under the federal statute there are three levels of severity of sexual offense:
Tier 1 – In general, non-violent sexual contact;
Tier 2 – Non-violent but serious commercial involvement with sex, such as sex trafficking;
Tier 3 – Aggravated sexual assault involving violence, kidnaping, etc.
The time periods required to stay on the federal sexual registry are as follows: Tier 1 – 15 years; Tier 2 – 25 years; Tier 3 – Lifetime. Under the federal statute (Sexual Offender Registration Act, also known as SORNA), one can file an application to reduce the period of time that one’s name must remain on the sexual offender federal registry.
Four things are necessary in order to apply to shorten the above referenced periods of time under SORNA:
- The sex offender, for a ten-year period, has not committed any crime punishable by over one year’s imprisonment, since the date of his sentence ( e.g ., custody, probation, supervised release), (Tier 1); or 25 years (Tier 3); the statute does not provide for a reduction of the time period of 25 years (Tier 2);
- The sex offender has committed no additional sex crime other than the original one;
- The sex offender has successfully completed a certified sexual rehabilitation course that is accepted by the federal government;
- The sex offender has successfully completed probation, parole or supervised release.
A successful legal strategy a sex offender lawyer could employ is to apply for the reduction in the time period under SORNA and then, once granted, file the petition in the applicable state court for getting completely off the state sex offender registry.
This whole process takes time and patience, but the upside is that a person doubles his chances for a successful petition in state court if he first gets the federal motion granted, as described above. The downside, of course, is that the offender may have to wait a few years. However, given the alternative ( e.g ., in Texas) of lifetime registration, and the greatly improved chance of getting the state petition granted after the federal motion is granted, it is well worth any wait that may be required, and one can be productive during the waiting period, as noted below.
During the waiting period before filing, there is much preparation that needs to be accomplished, such as the following: The Complainant can be approached and an affidavit obtained from her/him consenting to the applicant getting off probation, but this is a delicate process, and needs to be approached very cautiously; numerous letters of recommendation, especially from employers, should be obtained. However, for those letters to have maximum effect, they must contain specific comments about certain categories. Polygraphs can be taken regarding the facts and circumstances of the case and/or the rehabilitation that has been accomplished; the details and the credentials of the programs that have been taken or, in the case of a residential, enrolled in, are very important; a detailed employment history and current detailed employment, specifying the skill and level of responsibility required, are critical; past accomplishments where the offender has shown a civic responsibility to nonprofit or charitable institutions on a sustained basis is helpful; a carefully worded statement from the offender documenting his self-knowledge, his rehabilitation and his plans for the future is vital; the detailed clinical report of a Ph.D. psychologist who specializes in sex offender evaluation is a must; and, there are up to a dozen other important items that will make the federal motion, and, later, the state petition, compelling.
Most, if not all, of the items noted above can be used in support of both the federal motion and the state petition. Once the federal motion is granted, if the items are to be used for the state petition, they should be appropriately updated. The legal relief available under both the federal SORNA and Art. 62.401, et seq , of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, exists for a reason: The U.S. Congress and the applicable state legislature have determined that it is appropriate to give relief to those who have earned it. The successful lawyer will present an extremely well-documented and compelling case, showing by clear and convincing evidence why the client deserves the privilege of receiving legal relief, as provided by both federal and state law.
Arch McColl, an experienced sex crime attorney, can get a client’s name removed from the sex offender registry or answer a client’s questions regarding that subject or sex offender prosecutions in general. For over 30 years, Mr. McColl has had a successful history dealing with sex-related offenses, including derailing many potential prosecutions. He has also taken clients to the legislature to testify on pending bills designed to ameliorate harsh penal code statutes relating to sexual offenses. He has also been successful in filing applications for writs of habeas corpus to get judgments in sexual assault cases completely set aside.
Mr. McColl provides 30 minutes of free consultation. Contact Arch McColl now for a free case evaluation.
* Results may vary depending on a variety of things, including the degree of aggravation in the facts of the case; the client’s history; the client’s credibility; the credibility of the Complainant/victim; the attitude of the prosecution; and several other factors.