Commonwealth v. Thompson, 548 S.W.3d 881 (Ky. 2018)
Nature of Case: Appellant pleaded guilty in the trial court to various offenses, inter alia, attempted kidnapping of a minor. Neither the defense attorney nor the prosecutor contemplated that sex offender registration would be a requirement of the sentence.
Subsequent to the plea, Appellant sought to withdraw the plea on the grounds that he was not advised that he would have to register as a sex offender. The trial court denied the motion, and Appellant appealed. Kentucky Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the failure to advise Appellant as to the requirement of sex offender registration constituted deficient performance under the Sixth Amendment. The Commonwealth then sought review from the Kentucky Supreme Court, which was granted.
Holding: Kentucky Supreme Court held that, despite the civil, non-punitive nature of Kentucky’s sex offender registry, that it had significant and lifelong consequences for those required to register. Therefore, the failure to advise as to the requirement of registration constituted deficient performance. The Court of Appeals decision was affirmed, and the case was remanded for further proceedings.