PA Supreme Court Strikes Down Retroactivity of SORNA
In 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature passed SORNA, a new version of what was previously known as Megan's Law. The law requires people convicted of certain offenses to register as sex offenders, as did Megan's Law. However, SORNA drastically increased the length of the registration and added additional offenses that previously did not require registration. SORNA went into effect on December 20, 2012, and anyone that was still on supervision, or was registered under Megan's Law on that date, became
subject to its restrictions.
This meant that a large number of people who were previously only required to register for 10 or 15 years were now required to register for 25 years or possibly for life. Most notably, an overwhelming number of individuals who were on probation for various offenses that did not require registration under Megan's Law, were now subject to registration under SORNA.
Over the last five years, Lauer & Fulmer has successfully represented a number of individuals who were forced to register under SORNA, despite negotiating guilty pleas to charges that specifically did not require registration and many defendants were able to have their registration requirement removed.
On July 19, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the retroactive application of SORNA violated both the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. As a result, individuals who were originally subject to the requirements of Megan's Law, are no longer subject to the increased penalties of SORNA. Additionally, individuals who were not required to register under Megan's Law, may not be required to register under SORNA.
Please understand that every single case is fact specific, and only an attorney can assist you in figuring out what registration requirements you may be subject to. You should immediately contact the attorneys at Lauer & Fulmer to find out what your rights are under this new case, and what options you have to seek relief from SORNA registration.
Do not hesitate to contact us today!
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