An Overview of Michigan’s Public Sex Offender Registry

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The Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) lists information about people convicted of sexually based crimes. The Sex Offenders Registration Act (Act) is used to determine when someone must be placed on the PSOR. The Act also explains when someone’s name can be removed from the PSOR.

The PSOR was created to give the public information about convicted sex offenders. People should not use this information to harass or harm anyone listed on the PSOR.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) maintains and updates the PSOR. The PSOR will list this information about people on the registry:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Registration number
  • Photo
  • Registration details, such as the registration time frame and last verification date
  • Physical characteristics including scars, marks, tattoos
  • Known aliases
  • Offense information
  • Address
  • Vehicle information

Some of the information in the PSOR is gathered through public records, but some of it is reported by the people on the registry. This means the MSP can’t guarantee the information is accurate. Anyone who believes the information about an offender is wrong can contact the MSP by phone at (517) 241-1806. They can also contact their local law enforcement agency.

People who use the registry to search for a specific person should make sure any record they find matches the person they are searching for. It’s not uncommon for people to have the same name.

Not everyone who is convicted of a sexually based crime is listed on the PSOR. Here are some reasons why someone may not be listed:

  • The person was adjudicated as a minor and not convicted as an adult;
  • The person is dead;
  • The person does not live in Michigan;
  • The conviction was not an offense that requires registration;
  • The conviction date was before the Act was in effect (before October 1, 1995), and the person wasn’t in the criminal justice system for that offense after that date;
  • A judge ordered the person to be removed from the PSOR;
  • The amount of time the person was required to register has passed.

Victim Notification

Crime victims have a right to be informed at every step of the criminal process. The PSOR is one way victims can keep informed after people are released from jail or prison. Michigan Victim Information Notification Everyday (MI-VINE) is an automated system that allows people to track the custody status of people in Michigan jails and prisons. The system is free and confidential. People can register to get messages by phone, text, and e-mail when someone’s custody status changes. This brochure explains how to register.

The Importance of Plea Deals

Sometimes criminal defense lawyers can work out a plea deal that could affect someone being put on the PSOR. It’s possible the plea deal could completely remove the possibility of being added to the PSOR. The lawyer would also know if the judge has discretion when it comes to requiring someone to be put on the PSOR, or if the conviction could be deferred and dismissed. That’s why it’s very important to have a lawyer represent you.

If you are a defendant in a criminal case, use the Guide to Legal Help to find private criminal defense lawyers in your area. 

Getting Your Name Removed from the PSOR

Depending on certain factors, a person can ask a judge for permission to stop registering and be removed from the registry. They can do this using the Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration and Order. The form comes with instructions about when someone is eligible to use it and about how to complete it.

There are five scenarios that could make you eligible for this process. They are:

  • You were convicted as an adult and you are a Tier I offender. Check to see what Tier you’re in by looking at the PSOR. Tier I offenses are defined in sections (r) and (s) of MCL 28.722.
  • You were adjudicated as a juvenile (when you were younger than 17 years old) and you are a Tier III offender. Contact your registering authority to find out what Tier you’re in. Tier III offenses are defined in section (v) of MCL 28.722.
  • You were convicted of an offense listed in sections (s), (u), or (w) of MCL 28.722, and it was the result of a consensual sexual act between you and the victim.
  • You were registered under the Act before July 1, 2011 but registration is no longer required. Contact your registering authority to see if your registration requirement has been discontinued.
  • You were adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense listed in sections (s), (u), or (w) of MCL 28.722, and you were less than 14 years old at the time of the offense. Contact your registering authority to see if your registration requirement has been discontinued.

Even if you fall into one of these scenarios, there are more requirements that you must meet before a judge would approve your petition. Some examples include a minimum amount of time that has passed since the offense, and completing a sex offender treatment program. If your situation matches one of the ones listed above, the instructions in the petition packet will give you more information about the other requirements.

One important thing to remember is that this form needs to be notarized. That means you must sign it in front of a notary public or court clerk. There may be a small fee for signing it in front of a notary public.

A judge has discretion (leeway) when deciding whether to grant your petition.