Skip to content
Crimes | Types of Criminal Charges » Sex Crime Charge Defense » Predatory Offender Registration

Predatory Offender Registration

Now we now call it Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Registration statute. But most know it as Minnesota’s Sex Offender Registration law.

Most but not all of the offenses of conviction listed in Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Registration law are sex offenses.  Most sex crime convictions (and those “arising out of the same set of circumstances”) trigger the registration requirement.  But, rare exceptions exist where the lowest level sex crimes were the most serious charge.

Minnesota appellate courts have said the statute’s registration requirement is constitutional, even where all charges triggering the requirement; led to dismissal or acquittal. However, if the judge dismisses all charges triggering registration, for lack of probable cause, then the Defendant might not need to register.

So, the sex crime defense attorney can help the accused avoid an outcome (disposition) that will result in having to register. For example, the defense attorney may be able to challenge probable cause for the triggering charges (conduct “arising out of the same set of circumstances” as a registration-triggering offense) at a Contested Omnibus Hearing.

Sex Offender Registration vs. Community Notification

We must distinguish this law from Minnesota’s Community notification law. That law is a scheme for community notification for some offenders after prison commitment. 

The registration law does not involve community notification. But a conviction triggers it (not a prison commitment).

joan of arc at stake
Joan of Arc

The Law Punishes the Innocent

What is the most unjust aspect of Minnesota’s Sex Offender Registration law? It requires predatory offender registration for those charged with, but not convicted of, a listed “predatory offense.” This includes the innocent-in-fact. As a result, we rightly view this system with skepticism.

So, you face a false accusation of a crime.  And you are innocent-in-fact.  But it was someone else’s mistake or malicious accusation.  And you did nothing wrong even remotely related to the listed “predatory offenses.”

And yet — still — the Minnesota law says you must register as a predatory offender or go to prison if you fail to do so.  Here is another law crying out for reform, to protect the innocent from injustice.

This Law Punishes Innocent Juveniles, Too

Another injustice of Minnesota’s current predatory offender registration statute? A juvenile adjudication for any other crime “arising out of the same set of circumstances as a crime in the registration statute’s list, must register. That means if the judge finds the juvenile innocent of a sex crime charge triggering registration, but convicts, for example, misdemeanor disorderly conduct, she would need to register as a predatory offender for a minimum of ten years.

This unjust law also applies to juveniles facing criminal sexual conduct charges based upon age alone (even fully consensual acts).

Sex Offender Registration law: Minnesota Statutes Section 243.166, titled “REGISTRATION OF PREDATORY OFFENDERS,” requires affected people to register for, at minimum ten years, up to life for some.  It applies to those convicted in Minnesota “or any offense from another state or any federal offense similar to the offenses described” in the statute.

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Minnesota

“Failing” to Register as a Predatory Offender in Minnesota is a felony.  Prison time is possible under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines or the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing provisions of the statute.

As defense attorneys, if faced with a client conviction triggering Minnesota’s Sex Offender Registration law; we will seek to help the client avoid prison and get probation instead.

Civil Rights to Carry a Pistol Lost While Required to Register

A person convicted of a felony “crime of violence” suffers a lifetime ban on possession of any firearm by default.

But Minnesota law requires some to register as “predatory offenders” even though never convicted of a felony “crime of violence,” or any felony for that matter. So, the law requires a person with a Minnesota misdemeanor conviction or juvenile delinquency adjudication, to register.

Minnesota Statutes Section 624.714, Subdivision 24 (2022) states:

“Predatory offenders. Except when acting under the authority of other law, it is a misdemeanor for a person required to register by section 243.166 to carry a pistol whether or not the carrier possesses a permit to carry issued under this section. If an action prohibited by this subdivision is also a violation of another law, the violation may be prosecuted under either law.”

Minnesota Statutes Section 624.714, Subdivision 24

Note that this statute relates to pistols. (Other laws may also strip gun rights.)

Moreover, during the required registration period under this law, that person will be ineligible to qualify for a Minnesota Carry Permit. (The shortest registration period in Minnesota is ten years; the longest is lifetime.)

Gallagher Criminal Defense logo sm

Prevention is Key

The consequences of a criminal conviction for a crime listed in Minnesota’s predatory registration statute are severe. The prison terms are lengthy. And even for people making good faith efforts to comply; hyper-technical requirements can lead to “failure to register” felony charge. This in turn can lead to additional, significant incarceration time. As a result, anyone facing such criminal charge, should do all they can prevent any conviction that could trigger registration. The lawyer you choose to help you avoid a criminal conviction, will be an important step towards that goal.

Call Now Button