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Legal-Guru
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?
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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)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/16911

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).

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-418_7k8b.pdf

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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