Courses of Action at Sentencing to Avoid Sex Offender Registration

If you are facing a court martial, it is not only important that your military defense lawyer formulate a trial strategy, but also a strategy for the sentencing phase of trial. In doing so, your court martial defense attorney must decide whether to bring the effects of sex offender registration to the attention of the members (jury); experience has taught us that bringing up this information to garner sympthay an actually backfire and CAN hurt you.

In a case where you have been convicted of sexual assault, rape, Article 120 UCMJ or another serious, register-eligible offense, the members may believe that sex offender registration doesn’t go far enough, and then might adjudge a longer period of confinement than they would have without the information. If the trial counsel (prosecutor) is aware that sex offender registration information will be brought to the attention of the members, they may argue that society deserves to subject the accused to sex offender registration because the law recognizes that “the accused is dangerous and children and women deserve to be protected from him.”

Your court martial defense lawyer should consider informing members about sex offense registration as part of his sentencing strategy where the offense is a “minor” one for which sex offense registration has a disproportionately punitive effect. As always, you should discuss these options with your military attorney or contact an experienced military defense attorney who can fully advise you.

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