SOR Laws FAQ
Commonly Asked Questions:
- Do the residency restrictions apply to me?
The residency restrictions apply to you if you have been convicted of a qualifying offense as listed in KRS 17.500, 17.510, and 17.520 and your offense is defined as a sex offense. Currently Kidnapping where the victim is a minor is also a registration offense which requires compliance with the residency restrictions. The restrictions also apply to you if you have moved into Kentucky from another state and you were ordered or required to register as a sex offender in any state or under a federal conviction for a qualifying sex offense. There are different residency restrictions for registrants depending on the conviction date. Some registrants are free to live anywhere they want, other must reside at least 1000 feet from schools only, and there are others who must follow the 2006 more strict residency law that includes parks and playgrounds.
- As a registrant, are there any other locations such as parks that I am prohibited from?
Technically, you are not prohibited from being or going anywhere. Registered sex offenders are only prohibited under current Kentucky law from entering upon the premise of a school or daycare, unless you have received permission from the principle or school board. Registrants can go to the park and playground and other restricted premises as long as you do not “reside” within 1000 feet of those premises.
- How does the Kentucky Supreme Court decision in Commonwealth v. Baker impact residency restrictions? Is the law still enforceable for those who were living within the restricted area prior to the passage to the new law?
The decision rendered by the Kentucky Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Baker found KRS 17.545 to be an Ex Post Facto violation and the retroactive application of the law unconstitutional. This means that KRS 17.545 as enacted in 2006 does not apply to those registrants convicted prior to the July 2006 effective date. However, KRS 17.545 is Constitutional and does apply to those registrants convicted on or after the enactment date. Therefore, there are different residency restrictions for registrants depending on the conviction date. Some registrants are free to live anywhere they want, other must reside at least 1000 feet from schools only, and there are others who must follow the 2006 more strict residency law that includes parks and playgrounds.
- Does the prohibition from being on school property without express permission of the school board or authority apply to me?
Yes and No. Technically, the law only applies to those registrants convicted on or after the effective date of the statute. However, the retroactive application of this statute has not been before the courts to determine if it would be Constitutional or Unconstitutional. For this reason, it would be best advised to seek permission even if you believe the law should not apply to you. Taking this precaution could avoid a long, expensive, and embarrassing arrest, defense, and other legal action. Many police and prosecutors will seek to go forward on charges even if the law does not apply to you until courts sort it out.
- If the school property law does not apply to me, can the school or police force me to leave the premises?
If you are asked to leave the premises, are arrested, or are issued a criminal citation, contact an attorney immediately. Do not try to fight your own legal constitutional battle right there on the school property with police and school officials…this will only result in larger problems. If you are asked to leave, do so as requested. Failure to vacate any property when asked can constitute trespassing. If police approach you to leave or to cite or arrest you for being on school property, maintain your right to counsel and remain silent by telling the officer you desire to remain silent and want your attorney. Be cooperative and polite with the officer and do as you are told; this will avoid bigger problems than just fighting a constitutional issue. Once you are off the property and have avoided charges, then have your attorney contact the school regarding the legal action necessary to defend the allegations or get permission to be on the property.
- How does the Commonwealth of Kentucky classify registrants who move into the state?
KRS 17.510 sets out who is required to register in Kentucky. Anyone moving into Kentucky from another state who is required to register under their prior state or under a federal order is also required to register in Kentucky. Failure to register as required will result in criminal charges. All out of state registrants who move into Kentucky are classified as life-time registrants by default, regardless of what their prior registration status and time period were in the other state or territory.
- Can a registrant appeal the lifetime classification by default when they move into Kentucky?
A registrant can appeal or petition to have the lifetime classification changed to a 20 year or 10 year status depending on which the registrant should fall under. The appeal or petition is filed with the Kentucky State Police and Department of Probation and Parole in Frankfort. There are a number of legal issues that can be raised to possibly change the status. Seek legal assistance in making this petition.
- Can a registrant who was convicted and lives in Kentucky challenge their registration even though the registrant has been registering under their current status?
Yes. If your conviction was from a Kentucky court and you are registering but believe your registration status to be wrong or believe you should not be registering at all, you can petition with either the Department of Probation and Parole or the Court of your conviction to have the status changed or your registration terminated completely. Because the legislature passes “blanket” legislation, the law gets imposed upon all registrants, regardless many times of the details of your individual situation. As such, sometimes the law is unconstitutionally being applied to you. Sometimes, your conviction date means you should not register at all but authorities are making you. Also, probation and parole may have changed your registration arbitrarily upon your release from prison even though your original conviction required a lesser registration status. For these reasons, legal action can be taken to change your registration requirements and status. I have had a number of clients who were wrongly registering as lifetime or were registering when they should not have been.
Bradley Fox, Fox and Scott, PLLC
517 Madison Ave.
Covington, KY 41011
Bio on website page: foxandscott.com, click attorneys
Can also “Google, Yahoo, Bing” search my name under Cincinnati or Kentucky attorney to see news articles and reports regarding cases I’ve been involved in.
Sex offender registration Bio: Counsel of record representing Michael Baker for Commonwealth v. Baker. Attorney of record at trial level before Kenton County District Court and remained lead counsel for case before the Kentucky Supreme Court and before the U.S. Supreme Court on the Attorney General’s Petition for Cert to the U.S. Supreme Court. Won at every stage of the proceedings including motions to stay lower court rulings. Lead counsel in over 10 sex/rape trials to a Jury. Counsel of record in cases in both Ohio and Kentucky that resulted in registrants being removed completely from the sex offender registry. Counsel of record in cases in Kentucky that overturned convictions for registrants convicted of violating KRS 17.545 after the Baker decision was rendered. Currently fighting two appeal cases in Kentucky regarding registration requirements with the Attorney General and Kentucky State Police. One case challenges the requirement that a person convicted of Kidnapping of a minor, with no sexual crime, be required to register as a sex offender. The other case involves challenging the registration requirement of someone who served their complete sentence and was convicted of the sex crime prior to the registration law of 1994, but is on life parole for a non-sex crime.