New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)
A New York SORA Lawyer can explain that in 1996, the state of New York passed the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). This act requires that anyone who has been incarcerated, or is on parole or probation for a sex crime as of January 26, 1996, is required to register as a sex offender with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. It is important to remember that the sex offender registry is readily available to the public. If you have been accused of a sex crime, including lewd conduct (New York Penal Law 245.05), rape, indecent exposure (New York Penal Law 245.01), sexual assault (New York Penal Law 130.95), forcible touching or other related crime, contact a qualified New York SORA Lawyer from the Stephen Bilkis and Associates team for advice and guidance.
This system was initially created to allow the government to keep track of the whereabouts of sex offenders. Since then however, it has evolved and the information is now accessible to the public as well. In some jurisdictions sex offenders are subject to other restrictions, such as limitations on housing. Other jurisdictions have additional restrictions such as not living close to a school or day care center, not being in the presence of minors, and not using the internet.
Opponents of SORA say that is has caused unintended negative effects. It has resulted in the public labeling of sex offenders, which is a deterrent. However, studies suggest that while public notification did deter those who were not yet registered, in did increase the rate of recidivism in those who were.
The Sex Offender Registration Act categorizes sex offenders by the risk of re-offense. A sex offender is classified as either a level 1, 2, or 3 offender, with level 3 being the highest risk of re-offending. The offender is also classified as either a sexually violent offender, sexual predator, or predicate offender. All levels of sex offenders must register for life, except of a level 1 offender, who must register for 20 years.
In New York, the Division of Criminal Justice Services is responsible for maintaining the New York Sex Offender Registry. By law, only level 2 & 3 offenders are required to register. The convicted sex offender has quite of list of requirements to perform under SORA which include:
- Annually report where they are living
- Notify DCJS in writing of any new address within 10 days
- Notify DCJS of any higher education they are attending
- Provide names of internet service providers, screen names and email accounts
- Level 3 offenders must confirm their address every 90 days
- Notify DCJS of employer name and address
If you have been convicted of a sex crime, it is important to know that failure to register is considered a serious crime. There is a certain time frame within which you must register; failure to so can bring serious consequences. If you are a first time sex offender and do not register, you may be charged with a class A misdemeanor. If you are a multiple offender and fail to register you may be charged with a class D felony.
An experienced New York Sex Crime Defense Attorney from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can explain that once you have been listed on the state’s sex offender registry, you have a right to request a hearing. It is important to know that if you have maintained a clean record for a year, you may be able to get your offender level modified. Getting your offender level modified downward can help you put your past behind you and move with your life in a productive way.
If you have been accused of a sex crime such as child pornography (New York Penal Law 263) forcible touching, sexual assault, an internet sex crime (New York Penal Law 288.3), sex with a minor or sexual abuse, it is important to discuss your case with a New York Sex Crime Defense Attorney from the office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates right away. We want to discuss possible defense strategies with you. Our New York City offices serve clients throughout the five boroughs of New York City including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens, as well as Westchester County. Our Long Island offices support our clients in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Call us today at 800.696.9529 to schedule your free consultation.