Dedicated Advocacy. Proven Results.
We are an experienced firm dedicated to protecting the interests of its clients through the highest levels of advocacy. Attorney Andrew S. Crouch focuses his practice in the areas of criminal appeals and representing individuals before the Sex Offender Registry Board, including classification and reclassification. Attorney Crouch routinely represents clients in state and federal courts throughout the Commonwealth, including before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Due to his experience, he has also been selected as member of the murder appeals list for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. He has represented hundreds of clients in a variety of legal settings, from negotiating resolutions before a complaint is filed to winning reversals in the appellate courts.
In 2017, the Committee for Public Counsel Services awarded Attorney Crouch the Edward J. Duggan Award For Outstanding Service. The Duggan Award is given to a private attorney who best represents zealous advocacy — the central principle governing the representation of indigents in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly selected Attorney Crouch as one of twenty-five “Up and Coming Lawyers” in the Commonwealth related to his work on behalf of appellate clients and individuals facing the sex offender classification system. He is a member of the murder and superior court criminal appellate, civil commitment, Sex Offender Registry, and district court panels of the Committee of Public Counsel Services. He has also been appointed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals to be a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel, where he receives appointments in federal appellate criminal matters. Attorney Crouch regularly trains groups of attorneys around the Commonwealth on issues related to criminal law and sex offender classification and frequently consults with and advises other attorneys representing individuals in these areas.
As a leading Massachusetts sex offender registration attorney, Attorney Crouch has spoken to groups of attorneys around the Commonwealth on issues related to criminal law and sex offender classification and frequently consults with and advises other attorneys representing individuals in these areas.
Attorney Crouch concentrates his practice in several areas of the law, including appellate, administrative, and litigation. Please select the practice area of your interest from the list to learn more information about our legal services.
To request further information or to set-up a free, initial consultation with a representative of the firm, please contact us.
Attorney Crouch Secures Key Protection For Level 2 Sex Offenders Seeking Reclassification
In Doe No. 326573 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, 477 Mass. 361 (2017), the Supreme Judicial Court issued a crucial decision protecting the rights of sex offenders to seek reduction in their classification levels. Boston sex offender attorneyAttorney Crouch represented the plaintiff in Doe No. 326573 and secured a key victory for due process and the rights of Massachusetts Level 2 sex offenders.
The court had previously stopped the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) “from publishing on the Internet the registry information of any individual who was finally classified as a level two sex offender on or before July 12, 2013, unless the individual is subsequently reclassified a level two or level three sex offender.” In Doe No. 326573, the SORB contended that, when it unsuccessfully seeks after July 12, 2013, to reclassify a level two sex offender as a level three sex offender, the individual is reclassified a level two sex offender it may therefore publish the individual’s registry information on the Internet.
Attorney Crouch argued and the court agreed that a sex offender is “reclassified” only where a hearing officer allows SORB’s motion to increase his or her classification based on new information indicating an increased risk of sexual recidivism, not where the hearing officer denies the SORB’s motion for reclassification and retains the earlier level two classification. The court wrote:
In essence, SORB’s argument is that, when it moves to reclassify a level two offender who was classified on or before July 12, 2013, it is “heads, we win, tails, you (the offender) lose.” If SORB prevails on its motion to reclassify the offender from level two to level three based on its new information, it may publish the offender’s registry information on its Web site on the Internet. If it fails to prevail on its motion, the offender will be reclassified a level two offender, and it may publish the offender’s registry information on its Web site on the Internet. We decline to adopt such a rule. The denial of SORB’s motion to reclassify level two offenders who were finally classified on or before July 12, 2013, cannot transform them “into something akin to level ‘two and one-half’ offenders.” Such a result would not respect our conclusion in Moe that retroactive application of the 2013 amendments requiring Internet publication of registry information for these level two offenders “would be unreasonable and inequitable, and therefore unconstitutional as a violation of due process.” Nor does it respect the gravity of Internet publication of an offender’s registry information, which magnifies the “risk of serious adverse consequences to that offender, including the risk that the sex offender will suffer discrimination in employment and housing, and will otherwise suffer from the stigma of being identified as a sex offender, which sometimes means the additional risk of being harassed or assaulted.”
At oral argument in the case, the SORB also agreed to stop its long-standing practice of putting Level 2 offenders who were classified before July 12, 2013, on the internet if their reclassification motions were denied. This was a key issue for many Massachusetts Level 2 sex offenders who were worried about negative consequences following a reclassification request. In its decision, the court struck down the SORB’s practice:
We also decline to adopt SORB’s argument that, where a level two offender who was classified on or before July 12, 2013, moves to be reclassified as a level one offender, the denial of his or her motion means that the offender has been subsequently reclassified a level two offender and his or her registry information may now be published on the SORB Web site. Under the regulations in effect when Doe No. 15890 moved to reduce his classification, his failure to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his classification should be reduced based on new information does not transform his level two classification into “something akin” to a level two and one-half classification. It means simply that his motion for reclassification is denied. If it meant more, level two offenders who were classified on or before July 12, 2013, would be deterred from ever seeking to move to reduce their classification level, because the denial of that motion would result in publication of their registry information on the SORB Web site on the Internet.