If you are charged with a violation of the Minnesota predatory offender registration law, the consequences of a conviction can be dire. If it’s a first time offense, you are facing a mandatory minimum prison commit of not less than a year and a day and not more than five years! If you have a previous conviction for failure to register, you are facing a mandatory minimum prison commit of not less than two years and not more than five years. You need to retain an experienced Minnesota predatory offender registration defense attorney.
The Minnesota predatory offender registration statute is a complicated affair. The average person who is untrained in deciphering all of the ins and outs of the statute is at a distinct disadvantage. For example, within 5 days of a person living at a new primary address, a written notice of the new primary address must be filed with the corrections agent assigned to your case or with the law enforcement agency you are currently assigned to. The statute also requires that you report the address of your employment, school where you are enrolled, and the make, model, color, and license plate number of all cars owned or regularly driven by you. All of this reporting must be done within 5 days of securing new employment, enrolling in school or purchasing a new car. If you fail to do so, you may be prosecuted.
How can a person avoid serving a mandatory minimum prison sentence in a failure to register case?
In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you either knowingly violated a provision of the statute or intentionally provided false information. A potential defense for your case may be lack of knowledge. In other words, you didn’t knowingly violate the provisions of a statute since you did not understand or could not recall a particular provision due to its complexity.
A second defense may involve scouring the lengthy legislative history of the predatory offender registration statute in order to determine if the law in effect on the date of the offense required you to register. The date on which an amendment to the statute went into effect may not apply if the offense occurred prior to the date of enactment. If so, you may not have been required to register.
A third option is to enter into a plea agreement where the prosecuting attorney agrees to file a motion requesting the judge not to impose the mandatory minimum sentence. It is still within the Court’s discretion to either grant or deny the motion. Your back-up plan should be to make a part of the plea agreement the option to withdraw your guilty plea if the court denies the motion for a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence.
If you have been charged with violating the Minnesota predatory offender registration law, please call me NOW at (612) 339-1024 for a free initial phone consultation and protect your freedom.