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Utah Amends Sex Offender Registry

Representative Craig Hall saw eight of the 10 bills he was the chief sponsor on pass during the 2017 General Legislative Session in Utah. One success was the passage of House Bill (HB) 380, which Governor Gary Herbert signed on March 28. Hall’s website claims that individuals are required to register as sex offenders for 10 years or life (depending on the severity of the crime), but “defense attorneys and prosecutors have improperly made plea deals that have let some individuals be removed from the registry before their time is up.”

“This bill makes clear that such agreements between prosecutors and defense attorneys are improper, and shall not be made,” Hall’s website states. “And if they are made, the Utah Attorney General’s Office will have the authority to have these agreements held invalid.”

HB 380 amends two statutes of the Utah Code. The bill amends Utah Code § 77-41-103 to require a court to, within three business days, forward a signed copy of an order to the Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry office within the Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) when the court modifies, withdraws, sets aside, vacates, or otherwise alters a conviction for a sex or kidnap offender conviction listed in Utah Code § 77-41-102(9) or (17). HB 380 also amends the same statute to allow the UDC to “intervene in any matter, including a criminal action, where the matter purports to affect a person’s lawfully entered registration requirement.”

Replacement of prior remedies under Utah Code § 78B-9-102 is also amended by HB 380, as the bill makes it such that a court cannot enter an order to withdraw, modify, vacate or otherwise set aside a plea unless it is in conformity with the Post-Conviction Remedies Act or Utah Code § 77-13-6. The UDC is required by Utah Code § 77-41-103(4) to provide the following additional information when available:

  • The crimes the offender has been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for;
  • A description of the offender’s primary and secondary targets; and
  • Any other relevant identifying information as determined by the department.

The UDC is also required to maintain the Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Notification and Registration website and ensure that the registration information collected regarding an offender’s enrollment or employment at an educational institution is promptly made available to any law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the institution is located if the educational institution is an institution of higher education, or promptly made available to the district superintendent of the school district where the offender is enrolled if the educational institution is an institution of primary education, and entered into the appropriate state records or data system.

Attorney in Salt Lake City for Sex Offenders

Convicted sex offenders are required under Utah Code § 77-41-105(3)(a) to register every year during the month of the offender’s date of birth, during the month that is the sixth month after the offender’s birth month, and also within three business days of every change of the offender’s primary residence, any secondary residences, place of employment, vehicle information, or educational information for the duration of their sentences and for 10 years after termination of sentences or custody of the division. An alleged offender can be required to register for the their lifetimes under Utah Code § 77-41-105(3)(c)(i) if they are convicted as adults of any any offense listed in Utah Code § 77-41-102(9) or (17) if, at the time of the conviction, the alleged offender has previously been convicted of an offense listed in Utah Code § 77-41-102(9) or (17) or has previously been required to register as a sex offender for an offense committed as a juvenile, or convicted of any of the following offenses, including attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit any felony of:

Child kidnapping, except if the alleged offender is a natural parent of the victim;

  • Rape of a child;
  • Object rape;
  • Object rape of a child;
  • Sodomy on a child;
  • Aggravated sexual abuse of a child; or
  • Aggravated sexual assault.

Offenses subject to lifetime registration requirements also include any of the following:

  • Felony violation of enticing a minor over the Internet;
  • Aggravated kidnapping, except if the offender is a natural parent of the victim;
  • Forcible sodomy;
  • Sexual abuse of a child;
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor; or
  • Aggravated exploitation of prostitution, on or after May 10, 2011.

Utah Code § 77-41-112 allows people to petition the court where they were convicted of offenses requiring registration for orders removing the offenders from the Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Registry if they were convicted of offenses listed under Utah Code § 77-41-112(2), at least five years have passed since the completion of the offender’s sentence for the offense, the offense is the only conviction for which the offender is required to register, and the offender has not been convicted, subsequently to the offense for which the offender was placed on the registry, of a violation listed in Utah Code § 77-41-102(9) or Utah Code § 77-41-102(17). Convicted sex offenders who meet all of these requirements still must complete a number of other requirements under the statute in order to be removed from the state’s sex offender registry.

If you are hoping to be removed from the sex offender registry, allegedly failed to register as a sex offender, or have been accused of any kind of sex crime, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. A Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties.

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About the Author

Darren Levitt is a trial attorney and founder and manager of the law firm Levitt Legal, PLLC. As an attorney, Darren works to protect, defend and uphold the freedom, liberty, property, and constitutional and unalienable rights of individuals.