Nassau County Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

If you commit a sex crime, there is a good chance that you will be sent to prison or be required to serve a term of probation. However, regardless of whether you spend a few months or a few years in prison, or if you are on probation for 6 or 10 years, an additional consequence of being convicted of a sex crime is that you will be required to register as a sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). SORA requires those convicted of almost any sex crimes as well as a few other types of crimes to register as a sex offender with the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for a minimum of 20 years, and in some cases for life. In addition, if you were convicted of a sex crime in another jurisdiction and then move to New York, you are also required to register as a sex offender. New York has very strict rules about the registration requirements for sex offenders. Failure to register is a crime. If you are convicted of failing to register under SORA, you may be sentenced to prison. If you have been charged with failing to register under SORA, you should immediately contact a Nassau County Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and explain to you your legal options.

Requirements of SORA

After you are convicted of a registrable offense you will have a SORA risk determination hearing. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-d(3). At the hearing the judge will assess the level of risk that you present to the community based on the likelihood that you will re-offend. There are 15 factors that will be considered in determining your risk level. They include:

  • Use of violence
  • Sexual contact with the victim
  • Number of victims
  • Duration of conduct with victim
  • Age of victim
  • Other victim characteristics (e.g. whether the victim has a mental defect or was physically helpless)
  • Age at first sex crime
  • Number and nature of prior crimes
  • Recentness of prior felony or sex crime
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Acceptance of responsibility
  • Conduct while confined or under supervision
  • Supervision
  • Living or employment situation

Based on that evaluation, the judge will determine your level of classification: Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. A Level 1 classification is given to those who present the lowest level of risk while Level 3 is given to those who present the highest level of risk of re-offending. Your risk level can be raised if you commit another crime, or violate your probation or parole. You can also request a hearing and ask the court to lower your risk level, or completely relieve you from the registration or verification requirements. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-o

Level 1 offenders will be required for register for 20 years. Level 2 and 3 offenders will be required to register for life. In addition, if you have the additional designation of being a sexual predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate sex offender, you will have to register for life, even if your risk level is 1.

The court will let you know what your registration and verification duties are. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-d. When you are released from prison or released on probation, you will be given the form to complete in order to register. You then must mail the completed form to the designed law enforcement agency within 10 days of receiving the form. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-f. The following information is required as part of the registration.

  • Identifying Information. You must register your name, including aliases, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, home address or expected home address, internet accounts and internet identifiers such as screen names and email addresses.
  • Photograph and fingerprints. You will be required to personally appear at the designated law enforcement agency to get a photograph taken. For level 3 offenders, the photograph must be updated once a year. Level 1 and 2 offenders must update their photographs every 3 years. If your appearance changes significantly, you may be required to update your photograph sooner.
  • Offense. A description of the crime for which you were convicted, the date of the conviction and the sentence imposed.
  • School. The name and address of the school in which you are enrolled or plan to enroll.
  • Employment. For level 2 and 3 offenders, the name and address of your place of employment.
  • Other information. Any other information that law enforcement deems pertinent.

N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-b.

In addition to registering, sex offenders have verification requirements. Level 1 offenders must verify their home addresses once a year on the anniversary of their initial registration. Verification is completed via a form that the offender must mail to the designated law enforcement agency. If you are a Level 2 or 3 offender you must personally go to a police station and verify your home address every 90 days. If you move, get a new email address or screen name, or change your enrollment status or employment at an institution of higher education, within 10 days you must inform the designated law enforcement agency. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-f

If you are a Level 2 or 3 offender, your information will be available to the public via the internet. The information listed will include your name, home address, work address, name of school, if any, photograph, physical description, age, crime, and type of victim targeted. Anyone will be able to go online and find your name, photo and other information about you. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-q

An additional rule under SORA is that sex offenders are not permitted to be employed on vehicles that sell frozen desserts. In order words, you cannot work on an ice cream truck. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-v

Registrable offenses

There are currently over 40 crimes that are classified as registrable offenses. You will be required to register not only if you are convicted of a crime on the list, but if you are convicted of attempt to commit a crime on the list. The vast majority of crimes on the list are sex crimes. However, you also must register if you are convicted kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, a hate crime or a crime of terrorism. Most crimes are felonies, but there are a few misdemeanors. Examples of registrable offenses include:

  • Luring a child
  • Rape
  • Criminal sexual act
  • Sodomy
  • Forcible touching
  • Sexual abuse
  • Aggravated sexual abuse
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child
  • Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance
  • Predatory sexual assault
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Patronizing a prostitute
  • Promoting prostitution
  • Sex trafficking
  • Unlawful surveillance
  • Incest

Furthermore, under certain circumstances if you are convicted of crime under the laws of another jurisdiction and you move to New York State, you will have to register. Another jurisdiction means convicted under a federal law, state law, military law, or law of another country. The requirement applies to being convicted of an offense that is equivalent to a registrable New York State offense, an offense that requires registration in the conviction jurisdiction, or conviction of certain specified federal statutes such as sexual exploitation of children and selling or buying children. 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 2251- 2251A

In the case of certain offenses such as forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree, sex offender registration is only required if the victim was under the age of 18 or if you have been convicted of a sex crime at any time in the past. In the case of kidnapping in the first or second degree or in the case of false imprisonment in the first or second degree, you will be required to register under SORA only if the victim is under 17 years old and you are not the victim's parent.

Penalty for failure to register

If you fail to meet any of the registration or verification requirements under SORA, you would have committed a crime. This means that not only do you have to provide the proper information such as your address and email address, but you also have to provide it on time. The first time you are found to have violated SORA, it will be a Class E felony. For a second failure to register as a sex offender, you will be charged with a Class D felony. If you violate SORA by owning or being employed on an ice cream truck, you will have committed a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for the second offense. Furthermore, if you violate SORA, your parole or probation may be revoked. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-t

Violation of the registration or verification requirements of SORA is serious. You may be convicted of a crime. Your probation or parole may be revoked. You could end up in jail. For this reason it is important to immediately contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are accused of violating any of the provisions of SORA. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts and is familiar with the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act. In addition, we have successfully represented those accused of sex crimes as well as other criminal offenses. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

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