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Queens Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

The New York Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) was enacted in 1996 with 2 main purposes: to help the various law enforcement agencies and to protect the public. It requires those convicted of most sex crimes to register with the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services for at least 20 years. It also requires that certain information about convicted sex offenders be made available to the public. If you are a convicted sex offender and fail to follow sex offender registration requirements, you will have committed a crime. You could be sentenced to prison. If you have been accused of failing to register under SORA, you should immediately contact a Queens 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

The requirements of SORA only apply to those who are convicted of registrable offenses. With very few exceptions all sex crimes are registrable offenses. After you are convicted of a registrable offense, you will have a SORA risk determination hearing to determine the level of risk that you present to the community. The court will assess how likely you are to re-offend. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-d(3). The court will consider several factors, including:

  1. number of victims
  2. use of violence
  3. sexual contact with the victim
  4. duration of conduct with victim
  5. age of victim
  6. other victim characteristics (e.g. whether the victim has a mental defect or was physically helpless)
  7. age at first sex crime
  8. number and nature of prior crimes
  9. recentness of prior felony or sex crime
  10. drug or alcohol abuse
  11. acceptance of responsibility
  12. conduct while confined or under supervision
  13. release environment
  14. living or employment situation

Based on that evaluation, the judge will determine your risk level classification: Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. A Level 1 risk classification is given to those who present the lowest risk of re-offending, while Level 3 is given to those who present the highest level of risk.

Level 1 offenders will be required for register for 20 years. Level 2 and 3 offenders will be required to register for life. If you are a convicted sex offender who also is labeled a sexual predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate sex offender, you will have to register for life.

When it is time for you to register you will be given the appropriate form to complete. 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, aliases, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, home address, internet screen names and email addresses.

  • Photograph and fingerprints. You will be required to go to a specific law enforcement agency to get a photograph taken. Level 3 offenders must update the photograph once a year. Level 1 and 2 offenders must update photographs every 3 years. If there is a substantial change in your appearance you may be required to update your photograph sooner.

  • Offense. A description of the sex crime for which you were convicted, the date of the conviction and the sentence imposed.

  • School. If you are a student or plan to be a student, you will have to provide the name and address of the school at 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 the initial registration, sex offenders have ongoing verification requirements. Level 1 offenders must verify their home addresses once a year using 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 internet screen name, or change your enrollment status or employment at a school, 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, the information that you registered will be made available to the public via a website. The information listed will include your name, home address, work address, name of school, photograph, physical description, age, crime, and type of victim targeted. Anyone will be able to go online and find your name, address, photograph, 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

Your risk level can be changed. You can request a hearing and ask the court to lower your risk level or remove you from the sex offender registry. The court can raise your risk level if you commit another crime, or violate your probation or parole. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168-o

Registrable Offenses

There are currently over 40 crimes that are classified as SORA 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 any crime on the list. While most crimes on the list are sex crimes, there are a few that are not sex crimes such as 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
  • Sodomy
  • Forcible touching
  • Sexual abuse
  • Course of sexual conduct against a child
  • Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance
  • Predatory sexual assault
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Patronizing a prostitute
  • Sex trafficking
  • Unlawful surveillance
  • Incest

Furthermore, under certain circumstances if you are convicted of a crime under the laws of another jurisdiction and you move to New York State, you will have to register. The law of another jurisdiction can mean 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

Punishment for Failure to Register

It is important to follow the requirements of the SORA. If you do not, you would have committed a crime. The first time you are found to have violated SORA, you will be charged with a Class E felony. The next time you will be charged with a Class D felony. If you violate the Sex Offender Registration Act by owning or working 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. In other words, you will likely be sent to prison if you violate SORA since as a sex offender you already have a felony criminal history.

The requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act are complex. It is easy to inadvertently miss a verification deadline or in some other way violate the rules. The penalty for such a violation, even if advertent, is incarceration. 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 is familiar with the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act. In addition, we have successfully represented those accused of sex crimes, violating SORA as well as other criminal offenses. Contact us at 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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