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SORB Hearings

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Massachusetts SORB Hearings / SORB Hearing Attorney Boston

If you have been convicted of a sex offense* in Massachusetts, you are likely required to register as a sex offender with the Sex Offender Registry Board (“SORB”). Depending on the conviction, you may be subject to registration for 20 years or for the rest of your life.

Initial Classification Process

After your conviction, SORB will send you a letter with an initial classification level. At this point, you should consider retaining an attorney to represent you in the process. Your attorney can provide SORB with information relevant to your case or background. Thirty days after the initial letter, SORB will send a notice with a preliminary classification level of 1, 2, or 3, and notice of your right to request a hearing. If you do not request a hearing, the preliminary classification level becomes final – make sure to send in your request within twenty days.

After SORB receives your hearing request, your attorney can file discovery requests and other motions. You and your attorney will prepare for the hearing, which is similar to a trial in court. The hearing starts with opening arguments, followed by witnesses, cross-examination, evidence, and ends with closing arguments. Instead of a judge, a Hearing Examiner will conduct the hearing. Generally, the Hearing Examiner will issue a decision by mail rather than at the hearing’s conclusion. In addition, the hearing will likely occur in a conference room rather than a courtroom.

The Hearing Examiner will issue a decision based on the hearing and SORB’s 24 risk factors. The Hearing Examiner may classify you as a level three (highest risk of reoffending), two, or one (the only level without public dissemination online). Alternatively, if the Hearing Examiner is persuaded that you do not pose a risk of reoffending or a danger to the community, he or she may decide that you do not have to register as a sex offender.

If you disagree with the Hearing Examiner’s decision, you have 30 days to appeal to a Superior Court judge. The next avenue for appeal is the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Lowering Your Classification

You can petition SORB to lower your classification after three years. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you in navigating the process. After getting to know you and your case, your attorney will draft and send a request to SORB. SORB can either rule on the request or schedule a hearing. This hearing will follow roughly the same pattern as your initial classification, as described above.

Terminating Your Classification

After 10 years of registration, you can petition SORB to allow you to stop registering altogether. Alternatively, if you are moving into Massachusetts from out of state, you can petition SORB to relieve you from having to register as a sex offender. If successful in your motion for relief, you will never have to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts. An experienced criminal defense attorney can be very helpful in persuading SORB that you should be relieved from your registration obligation.

Call today at 781-797-0555 for a free phone consultation about your case.

*Sex Offenses:

1. A “like violation” of any of the following crimes committed in any other state
2. Aggravated rape – G.L. c. 277 § 39
3. Assault of a child with intent to commit rape – G.L. c. 265 § 24B
4. Assault with intent to commit rape – G.L. c. 265 § 24
5. Attempt to commit a sex crime – G.L. c. 274 § 6
6. Disseminating to a minor matter harmful to a minor – G.L. c. 272 § 28
7. Dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct – G.L. c. 272 § 29B
8. Drugging persons for sexual intercourse – G.L. c. 272 § 3
9. Enticing a child under the age of 16 for purposes of committing a crime – G.L. c. 265 § 26C
10. Enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse – G.L. c. 272 § 2
11. Incestuous marriage or intercourse – G.L. c. 272 § 17
12. Indecent A&B on a child under 14 – G.L. c. 265 § 13B
13. Indecent A&B on a mentally retarded person – G.L. c. 265 § 13F
14. Indecent A&B on a person age 14 or over – G.L. c. 265 § 13H
15. Inducing a minor into prostitution – G.L. c. 272 § 4A
16. Kidnapping of a child – G.L. c. 265 § 26
17. Living off or sharing earnings of a minor prostitute – G.L. c. 272 § 4B
18. Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior (second conviction) – G.L. c. 272 § 16
19. Posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity – G.L. c. 272 § 29A
20. Possession of child pornography – G.L. c. 272 § 29C
21. Rape – G.L. c. 265 § 22
22. Rape and abuse of a child – G.L. c. 265 § 23
23. Rape of a child under 16 with force – G.L. c. 265 § 22A
24. Unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16 – G.L. c. 272 § 35A

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