Megan's Law Sentencing Issues- Lifetime Sentences for Multiple Convictions
Changes to Megan's Law now subject offenders convicted of multiple offenses to lifetime registration
Pursuant to changes made to ** Megan's Law**, 42 Pa.C.S.A. Section 9795.1(b), enacted and amended in 2000 and subsequently amended in 2004, 2006, and 2008 the following individuals are subject to lifetime registration "(1) An individual with two or more convictions of any of the offenses set forth in subsection (a)"
The offenses in subsection (a) are as follows:
kidnapping (victim in a minor), 18 Pa.C.S. § 2901
luring a child into a motor vehicle, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2910
institutional sexual assault, 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2
indecent assault (graded as M1), 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126
incest (victim is 12 years of age or older but under 18 years of age), 18 Pa.C.S. § 4302
prostitution and related offenses, where the actor promotes the prostitution of a minor, 18 Pa.C.S. § 5902(b)
obscene and other sexual materials and performances, where the victim is a minor, 18 Pa.C.S. § 5903(a)(3), (4), (5) or (6)
sexual abuse of children, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312
unlawful contact with minor, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6318
sexual exploitation of children, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6320
The offenses in subsection (a) are those offenses that would generally require only a 10 year registration period if they were the sole offense for which a conviction was obtained. However, if they were grouped or charged together and the end result was a conviction more than one of them, the resulting registration period now becomes lifetime.
This is a major new pitfall for defendants charged with multiple sexual offenses. The unwary defendant may assume that if a number of offenses charged does not carry a lifetime registation requirement, they are off the hook. Not so. It is all too common for one to be charged with multiple offenses out of a single incident. Should that incident result in convictions on more than one of these above offenses at the same time or separate times, then they will be required to register for life with the Pennsylvania State Police.