Wrongfully placed on the sex offender registry
Our client came into our office having been on the sex offender registry for 15 years. He faced charges for failure to register as a sex offender for the second time under Iowa Code Section 692A.111 (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/692A.111.pdf), a Class D felony (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/902.9.pdf). A conviction would lead to a mandatory lifetime (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/692A.106.pdf) on the registry. He didn’t know what to do. Over the past 15 years, several attorneys had looked at his case, but little had been done to help him. That’s where we came in.
What we did to get him off the registry
The first thing Dean (https://www.stowerslaw.com/About/Dean-Stowers.shtml) did was go back and examine the original offense that led to the registration requirement. It turns out that the original conviction specifically stated that he would not have to register as a sex offender. We saw clearly that he was unjustly required to register. From that point, we were determined to not only deal with the pending charges, but get him removed from the registry entirely. So we got to work. First, we got the county attorney to agree to postpone the pending case for 90 days (called a continuance). Then we got to work getting our client off the registry. We filed an application for determination (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/2016/692A.116.pdf) with the Iowa Department of Public Safety (https://dps.iowa.gov/) (DPS). These applications are rarely successful, but they are often required in order to bring a later lawsuit against the state. DPS hemmed and hawed about the application, but eventually saw the merit in our argument. The Iowa Commissioner of Public Safety himself signed off on it. And just like that, our client no longer had to register as a sex offender. After dealing with 15 years of social stigma and onerous registration requirements, he was free to take his life back. With the decision from DPS in hand, we went to the county attorney and argued for him to dismiss the pending case. He was unwilling at first, but we held our ground. A charge for failing to register as a sex offender didn’t make sense if our client didn’t have to register anymore. Finally, the county attorney conceded and dismissed all the charges. Our client didn’t even have to pay court costs, which is very uncommon.
How we can help you
This client walked into our office facing felony charges and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. We took the case and completely changed his life. Let us take a look at your case, too. The social stigma surrounding sex offenders is immense. Some people say the requirement to register is worse than any amount of time spent in jail. At Stowers & Nelsen (https://www.stowerslaw.com/), we understand that you’re more than just the label of “sex offender” – you’re a real person. There are several ways to get off the sex offender registry in Iowa, and we have a lot of experience and success with all of them. Give us a call at 515-224-7446 (We might be able to change your life.