Which Out of State Sex Offenses Require Sex Offender Registration in Massachusetts?

All sex offenders must register within two (2) days of moving into the Commonwealth from another jurisdiction. This process can be very confusing for individuals with out-of-state offenses as the registration requirement is not always clear.

The Sex Offender Registry Law also requires registration for any person who committed a like violation of the laws of another state, the United States or a military, territorial or Indian tribal authority. The law itself does not define the method or standards for determining which out-of-state offenses constitute ‘like violations’ of Massachusetts law. Despite this limitation, recent cases argued by Attorney Andrew Crouch have helped clarify this often confusing procedure for individuals who have out-of-state offenses.

In a case argued by Attorney Crouch, the Supreme Judicial Court in John Doe, Sex Offender Registry Board No. 151564 vs. Sex Offender Registry Board, 456 Mass. 612 (2010), determined that a ‘like violation’ has been defined as a conviction in another jurisdiction of an offense of which elements are same or nearly same as an offense requiring registration in Massachusetts. The elements of the offense in another jurisdiction need not be precisely the same as the elements of a Massachusetts sex offense in order for it to constitute a ‘like violation.’ The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with Attorney Crouch that in determining whether a plaintiff’s out-of-state offense constituted a ‘like violation’ of Massachusetts law, hearing examiners cannot rely upon facts underlying the out-of-state convictions to find that a person is required to register in the Commonwealth. As the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in this case is complex, it is highly recommended that individuals with out-of-state offenses contact an experienced Massachusetts sex offender registry attorney to receive advice as to whether their out-of-state offense qualifies as a registrable offense in Massachusetts.

Sex offenders residing in locations outside of Massachusetts but who are employed in the Commonwealth, must register within two (2) days of beginning employment. A person is working in Massachusetts if he comes into Massachusetts to work at a full-time or part-time job for a period of time exceeding fourteen (14) days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding thirty (30) days during any calendar year, whether compensated or uncompensated.

Sex offenders residing in locations outside of Massachusetts, who are required to register as sex offenders in the state in which they reside but who are also enrolled in any school in the Commonwealth, must register within ten (10) days of attending the school.
All other out of state sex offenders who attend Massachusetts schools must register within ten (10) days of attending, transferring to, or transferring from the school if the school is an Institution of Higher Learning which is any public or private post secondary educational, vocational, professional or trade institution, college, university, or school.

If you are facing a classification proceeding or are already a registered offender who wants assistance in reviewing or challenging his or her classification, or to request further information, please contact Attorney Crouch at (617) 441-5111 or email him to set up a free, initial consultation. To request further information please contact us.