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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I was convicted and served my sentence of 24 months in a fed.

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I was convicted and served my sentence of 24 months in a fed. prison for 1 count of possession of child pornography in June of 2008. When released, I was told to fill out papers for being a sex offender. Shortly after, I was sent a letter from the justice department that I my offense was not such that I needed to be reported as a sex offender and my name was taken off the list. Now, on August 1, my attorney called and said that congress had passed a law, which was retroactive, that I now have to go in and report myself as a sex offender. I cannot find any legislation that requires that I do. Can you find that for me or point me in the right direction?
Welcome to JustAnswer.

I have been and am continuing to research your question. I should have an answer for you shortly.
I have quite a bit of experience with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), but wanted to make sure I was correct.

There is no new statute. SORNA was signed into law in 2006 by President Bush and has always included possession of child pornography as a Tier I registrable offense which means registration is required for 15 years. (42 U.S.C. 16911(7)(G) - see link below)

What has changed is whether it applies to crimes committed before it went into effect. There was a split among the lower federal courts until the U.S. Supreme Court resolved that issue on June 24, 2013, in United States v. Kebodeaux. (See link below).

Your lawyer is essentially correct. Although it is not a new law from Congress, the Supreme Court has ruled that people whose crimes occurred before SORNA's effective date are subject to its registration requirements.
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