This page speaks in terms of “Moving” however states will interpret simply going into another state (traveling), as a move. Accordingly, if you move or travel to another state you will need to know their laws BEFORE entering that state, lest you be stopped by the police and accused of “Failure to Register” and end up in their prison.
And worse yet, the Adam Walsh Act takes effect the minute you cross any state line, whether or not that state has enacted it (USA v Paul Shenandoah), and if you fail to follow AWA (register in the new state) you might end up with a federal prison sentence, and a civil commitment hearing at the end of that sentence, then civilly committed for the rest of your life.
There are also twenty states (AZ, CA, FL, IL, IA, KS, MA, MN, MO, NE, ND, NH, NJ, NY, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI) that have state civil commitment laws, and if you are convicted of a failure to register for entering their state, and sent to their prison, then nearing the end of that sentence, they may also hold a civil commitment hearing using their CC laws, and civilly commit you for the rest of your life.
Note: Whatever special rights granted by your state of conviction, they are meaningless in a new state unless that new state recognizes those rights -in a statute-. Without that statute those rights cease to exist in the new state!
CASE-A:(From a personal experience, via e-mail)
A FSO living in Virginia wanted to move to Colorado, better climate and several other things sounded good. The FSO called a local police officer in Colorado, who -after explaining to the officer about his case [a misdemeanor]- was told what the Colorado laws would require of him, if he moved to Colorado. The FSO then contacted the County DA, the state SOMB, and State police but was getting a different story. Red flags went up, so the FSO called the Colorado local police officer back, then the officer said “We must have misunderstood each other.” Reality was, Colorado was far worse than Virginia, Level I -v- Level III for his misdemeanor. The moral of this story is: DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU MOVE, like Santa Clause, check your list twice, thrice etc. with multiple sources in the state where you wish to move to. i.e. Local police rarely take the time to learn the ins and outs of their laws, they make quick decisions which may not be totally correct.
More when we learn of them
The following applies to ANYONE who has EVER registered in ANY state, at some point in their past: A VERY SAD FACT, once someone goes on the registry they must sign certain forms, one of the forms they sign says something like this “If you move to another state you must register when you get there.”
That form and statement is applicable to you for the rest of your life, courts are taking that as notice of Federal Law (SORNA sec. 2250) which requires you to appear in the state you move to, and follow their registration procedures. That is applicable even if you no longer must register in the state you move from!
Federal Law says:
‘‘§ 2250. Failure to register‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Whoever—
‘‘(1) is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA);
‘‘(2)(A) is a sex offender as defined for the purposes of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) by reason of a conviction under Federal law (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice), the law of the District of Columbia, Indian tribal law, or the law of any territory or possession of the United States; or ‘‘(B) travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or enters or leaves, or resides in, Indian country; and
‘‘(3) knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA);
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
Do you see the comment in #3 “required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA),” that requires you to go in and FIND OUT if you must register in the NEW state. Frequently states do not require folks with certain conviction to register, but you must go in and FIND OUT. As long as you go in and FIND OUT you have complied with federal law.
SUPER SAD FACT: If you are convicted of a new crime, no matter where you live, you will have to register again based on the laws of the state where you were convicted of the new crime.
Everyone note, no matter what you read here, it is always best to seek the advice of a lawyer because they ALWAYS have the ability to find CURRENT laws to interpret your specific circumstances and give you legal advice. Here we are not lawyers and can only show you cases which we have read covering other folks with similar circumstances.
As we find more examples they will be posted.CASE-1:
The Idaho Supreme Court has unanimously rejected an appeal from a man whose 1984 rape conviction in Washington required him to register as a sex offender when he moved to Idaho, even though Idahoans don’t have to register unless their sex offenses were on or after July 1, 1993. The reason: Idaho law requires anyone who was required to register as a sex offender in another state when they moved to Idaho, to register here. That was the case for Richard T. Yeoman, who was convicted in Kootenai County in 2008 for failing to register as a sex offender, a felony, after he moved to Idaho in 2007. Yeoman’s appeal charged equal protection violations and a violation of his constitutional right to travel; Chief Justice Daniel Eismann wrote, “Because he was required to register while residing in Washington, it is difficult to see how the requirement that he register in this state in any way infringed upon his right to travel.”
CASE-2:This case is even more confusing because it involves three states, and because of when everything happened, and Mr. Trent appealed (after being charged and sent to prison) the appeals court said he was not required to register in the third state. The worst thing is, he served the sentence and was released before the appeal decision came down releasing him. Yes a very confusing case and I suggest folks read the facts within the decision.
In United States v. Trent, the Sixth Circuit reversed a conviction for failure to register under section 2250. Mr. Trent had a qualifying conviction, which required him to register as a sex offender. He failed to. He admitted that he was guilty, and was sentenced to three years in federal prison – roughly equal to the sentences he received for his sex offenses. The trouble is, Mr. Trent was required to register in Ohio. Ohio didn’t adopt the SORNA registration requirements until after Mr. Trent was charged with a crime for failing to register. So, while he was required to register as a matter of Ohio law, the Sixth Circuit held that he wasn’t required to register through SORNA. As a result, his conviction for failing to register under SORNA was vacated, and the charges dismissed. Lest you think this is a shame – that the Sixth Circuit let a man escape “justice” – please look at the dates in the opinion. Mr. Trent was charged on December 6, 2007. He was sentenced to three years in prison on October 31, 2008. The Sixth Circuit appeal was filed in 2008 (based on the case number). According to the Bureau of Prisons, Mr. Trent finished serving his sentence – the one that was vacated on August 5, 2011 – on July 16 of 2010.