Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 9.1. Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 9. Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act
6/17/2021

§ 9.1-909. Relief from registration, reregistration, or verification.

A. Upon expiration of three years from the date upon which the duty to register as a Tier III offender or murderer is imposed, the person required to register may petition the court in which he was convicted or, if the conviction occurred outside of the Commonwealth, the circuit court in the jurisdiction where he currently resides, for relief from the requirement to verify his registration information four times each year at three-month intervals. After five years from the date of his last conviction for a violation of § 18.2-472.1, a Tier III offender or murderer may petition for relief from the requirement to verify his registration information every month. A person who is required to register may similarly petition the circuit court for relief from the requirement to verify his registration twice each year after five years from the date of his last conviction for a violation of § 18.2-472.1. The court shall hold a hearing on the petition, on notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth, to determine whether the person suffers from a mental abnormality or a personality disorder that makes the person a menace to the health and safety of others or significantly impairs his ability to control his sexual behavior. Prior to the hearing the court shall order a comprehensive assessment of the applicant by a panel of three certified sex offender treatment providers as defined in § 54.1-3600. A report of the assessment shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing. The costs of the assessment shall be taxed as costs of the proceeding.

If, after consideration of the report and such other evidence as may be presented at the hearing, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person does not suffer from a mental abnormality or a personality disorder that makes the person a menace to the health and safety of others or significantly impairs his ability to control his sexual behavior, the petition shall be granted and the duty to verify his registration information more frequently than once a year shall be terminated. The court shall promptly notify the State Police upon entry of an order granting the petition. The person shall, however, be under a continuing duty to register annually for life. If the petition is denied, the duty to verify his registration information with the same frequency as before shall continue. An appeal from the denial of a petition shall lie to the Supreme Court.

A petition for relief pursuant to this subsection may not be filed within three years from the date on which any previous petition for such relief was denied.

B. The duly appointed guardian of a person convicted of an offense requiring registration, reregistration, or verification of his registration information as either a Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III offender or murderer, who due to a physical condition is incapable of (i) reoffending and (ii) reregistering or verifying his registration information, may petition the court in which the person was convicted for relief from the requirement to reregister or verify his registration information. The court shall hold a hearing on the petition, on notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth, to determine whether the person suffers from a physical condition that makes the person (i) no longer a menace to the health and safety of others and (ii) incapable of reregistering or verifying his registration information. Prior to the hearing the court shall order a comprehensive assessment of the applicant by at least two licensed physicians other than the person's primary care physician. A report of the assessment shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing. The costs of the assessment shall be taxed as costs of the proceeding.

If, after consideration of the report and such other evidence as may be presented at the hearing, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that due to his physical condition the person (i) no longer poses a menace to the health and safety of others and (ii) is incapable of reregistering or verifying his registration information, the petition shall be granted and the duty to reregister or verify his registration information shall be terminated. However, for a person whose duty to reregister or verify his registration information was terminated under this subsection, the Department of State Police shall, annually for Tier I or Tier II offenders and quarterly for persons convicted of Tier III offenses and murder, verify and report to the attorney for the Commonwealth in the jurisdiction in which the person resides that the person continues to suffer from the physical condition that resulted in such termination.

The court shall promptly notify the State Police upon entry of an order granting the petition to terminate the duty to reregister.

If the petition is denied, the duty to reregister shall continue. An appeal from the denial of a petition shall be to the Virginia Supreme Court.

A petition for relief pursuant to this subsection may not be filed within three years from the date on which any previous petition for such relief was denied.

If, at any time, the person's physical condition changes so that he is capable of reoffending, reregistering, or verifying his registration information, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall file a petition with the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the person resides and the court shall hold a hearing on the petition, with notice to the person and his guardian, to determine whether the person still suffers from a physical condition that makes the person (i) no longer a menace to the health and safety of others and (ii) incapable of reregistering or verifying his registration information. If the petition is granted, the duty to reregister shall commence from the date of the court's order. An appeal from the denial or granting of a petition shall be to the Virginia Supreme Court. Prior to the hearing the court shall order a comprehensive assessment of the applicant by at least two licensed physicians other than the person's primary care physician. A report of the assessment shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing. The costs of the assessment shall be taxed as costs of the proceeding.

2003, c. 584; 2006, cc. 857, 914; 2020, c. 829.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.