Relief for Persons Required to Register as Sex Offenders in New York
Under the Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as SORA, convicted offenders of specified crimes are required to register with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Initial registration must occur at least ten days before discharge from incarceration, or at the time of sentencing, if a different sentence is imposed. Thereafter, registration is required annually (more frequently for certain offenders) is also required.
For the categories of sexual predator, sexually violent offenders and predicate sex offenders, registration is annually for life, regardless of risk level. A change of address must be reported ten days before moving.
Failure to register constitutes a crime (first time a misdemeanor, second time a class D felony) and is grounds for revocation of parole. It is a strict liability crime, although the offender must be given notice of the obligation to register.
As part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub L. No. 109-248, a national registry of sex offenders was established. Failing to register is a federal felony.
The New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) is found within the New York Correction Law. Certain people who have been convicted in New York State of designated sex offenses must register with State and local law enforcement officials. Those officials then provide information to the public, such as the name of offender, address, and offense of conviction.
SORA also applies to people who have been convicted in another state of an offense that would be comparable to a New York sex offense that would necessitate registration.
Sex offenders who are required to register with the State of New York are classified as either Level 1 (low risk), Level 2 (moderate risk), or Level 3 (high risk). Each level of sex offender registration has different requirements. Level 1 sex offenders are required to register for 20 years. Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders are required to register for life.
In addition to the different Level of sex offender registration, courts must also determine whether a sex offender should be labelled a “sexual predator,” a “sexually violent offender” or a “predicate sex offender.” If a sex offender is labeled any one of those additional terms, he or she is required to register for life, regardless of their Level.
A registered sex offender may petition a court for a downward adjustment to modify their Risk Level pursuant to New York Correction Law § 168-o. Reduction of a Risk Level may result in reduced reporting requirements and an ability to engage in other normal activities.
Filing a petition to amend or reduce a sex offender’s reporting requirements can be difficult. The petitioner has the responsibility to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that he or she is entitled to relief. Finding the right lawyer can increase your chances of effectively appealing for an amendment of a sex offender registration level. Contact the office of Dominic Saraceno immediately for a no cost consultation.