Placement on the Sex Offender Registry is a devastating criminal penalty. A registered sex offender suffers heavy restrictions in most aspects of daily life. Removal from the registry can greatly improve your personal opportunities, but according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, not all sexual offenders are eligible.
If you are wondering if you qualify for removal from the registry, call Goldberg & Allen, LLP at 212-766-3366. An experienced criminal attorney in New York City can assess your situation and discuss the available options.
Here are two FAQs regarding the laws surrounding removal:
- How long do sex offenders have to stay on the registry in New York?
If the court system does not classify you as a sexually violent offender, sexual predator or a predicate sex offender, you have to register for 20 years. A predicate sex offender is someone with previous sexual offense convictions.
You will also have to register for 20 years if you are a Level 1 Risk offender, or if the system has not yet given you a risk level classification. On New York’s spectrum of sex offenders, a Level 1 Risk is the lowest category. It usually includes nonviolent, low-level misdemeanors, such as sexual misconduct.
If the court considers you a sexual predator, a predicate sex offender or a sexually violent offender, you will have to register for the rest of your life. These categories typically include offenses such as aggravated sexual abuse, predatory sexual assault and rape. Offenders with a Level 2 or Level 3 Risk must register for life.
Regardless of whether you must register for 20 years or for life, you have to reregister every year. Level 3 Risk offenders have to give proof of residence to their local police department every three months.
- How do you modify your risk level for release from duty to register?
Level 2 Risk offenders who are not sexual predators, predicate offenders or sexually violent offenders may be able to modify their risk to a lower level—provided they have registered annually for at least 30 years; however, this is a very challenging process. To lower your risk level, you have to petition the court for either modification or relief. Additionally, you and your attorney must prove that you no longer pose a threat to society.
When the court receives your petition, it will forward it to the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders, who will review it and offer the court a formal recommendation. The court will make a decision based on the Board’s suggestion and any notable evidence that you and your lawyer provide.
The District Attorney may also submit evidence contesting your petition, which is why you should enlist experienced legal representation. If the court reduces your categorization to Risk Level 1, you still have to register every year; however, your name will not show on the public registry.
Once your name is on the Sex Offender Registry, it is difficult to remove. In certain scenarios, though, it is possible to reduce your classification and obtain release from the duty to register.
Call Goldberg & Allen, LLP at 212-766-3366 to find out how to go about collecting evidence for this process.