Reply To: How important are the new federal registration proposals?


I am not so certain on this portion above…
“That being said, if you were to violate, only the state could arrest you. State officials will need to know the federal guidelines if they are passed in the state legislature. A sheriff or state trooper could arrest someone in violation, but in our opinion no one with the federal government has that authority because you would not have violated federal law because there is no federal registry with which to register.”

21 DAY International Travel Notice- In late 2019 registrants in WV were asked/forced to sign a new requirement to notify authorities 21 days in advance of any international travel plans.The acknowledgement states the following:
“If I intend to travel outside the United States(includes: land, air or cruises), I must report to the State Police detachment in the county I reside in or the detachment that covers county or residency to complete a Federal Travel form 21 days prior to the date of travel. I must bring a copy of the travel itinerary and passport to complete the required paperwork.”
This requirement is not a state law, but included in the Federal SORNA International Megan’s Law(IML) from 2016. The intent of the requirement is to supposedly reduce international trafficking by registrants. Trafficking is bringing minors and others into the USA for sex trafficking. Of course there is no evidence of registrants doing this, but once again registrants are an easy target to hit. The caveat is the feds cannot prosecute anyone under IML unless registrants are aware of the federal requirement. Once you sign the state provided acknowledgement fair notice has been accomplished. If you try to go international without a 21 day notice you can be prosecuted federally, but not in WV. And the penalty for not giving advance notice is ten years in the federal slammer.

Section 72.8(a)(1)(iii) in the rule explains the condition for liability under 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)-(b) that the defendant “knowingly” fail to comply with a SORNA requirement. The “knowingly” limitation ensures that sex offenders are not held liable under section 2250 for violations of registration requirements they did not know about. However, this does not require knowledge that the requirement is imposed by SORNA. State sex offenders, for example, are likely to be instructed in the registration process regarding many of the registration requirements appearing in SORNA, which are widely paralleled in state registration laws, such as the need to report changes in residence, employment, internet identifiers, and vehicle information; the need to report intended international travel; and the need to appear periodically to update and verify registration information. The acknowledgment forms obtained from sex offenders in registration often provide a means of establishing their knowledge of the registration requirements in later prosecutions for violations. See 76 FR at 1634-35, 1638. But sex offenders may not be informed that the registration requirements they are subject to are imposed by a particular Federal law, SORNA. This does not impugn the fairness or propriety of holding sex offenders liable under 18 U.S.C. 2250 for knowingly violating a registration requirement that is in fact imposed by SORNA, so long as they are aware of an obligation from some source to comply with the requirement. See, e.g., United States v. Elkins, 683 F.3d 1039, 1050 (9th Cir. 2012); United States v. Whaley, 577 F.3d 254, 261-62 (5th Cir. 2009). Section 72.8(a)(1)(iii) makes these points about 18 U.S.C. 2250’s knowledge requirement in the rule.