Sex Offender Registration Act
The Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as SORA, is also the process that a person must go through once they have been convicted of a sex crime. Since 1996, this act created three risk levels for the defendant to be categorized into following their conviction, either low, moderate or high risk. A qualified risk assessment professional must complete the risk assessment instrument (RAI) which consists of 14 different sections that relate to both the offender and the crime that was committed. Our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys have handled many SORA hearings for our clients, as well as have been successful in seeking reductions of the risk level assigned. Our lead attorney began his career as a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney and knows how to make the court work for his clients. He and our team can help you navigate the complex court proceedings in a way to make sure that you are treated fairly in the assessment and subsequent conditions.
A level 1 risk (low risk) must score fewer than 70 points on all the categories. If the defendant qualifies for this category, they must complete an annual residence verification via mail as well as a provide a photo update in person every three years. Offenders who are moderate risk, level 2, have a score between 75 and 105 on the RIA. This then requires them to complete an annual employment verification by mail as well as complying with the photo update and annual residence verification. The highest level, level 3 and a high risk, is if an offender has scored over 110 points on the RAI. If this is the case, they must complete the residence and employment verifications as well as providing an updated photo every year and personal reporting to local law enforcement agencies every 90 days.
Once the criminal conviction has been completed, they must face a SORA hearing where the court will hear from the professional who interviewed the offender. The interview will consist of questions that deal with violence used during the completion of the crime, what type of sexual contact occurred, the number of victims as well as their relationship with the victim. The RAI also includes questions that deal with if the offender has accepted responsibility for the offense as well as their conduct, prior criminal history, if they have a history of drug or alcohol abuse and if they have been released with or without supervision. Once the court hears how the offender has been graded on the RAI, they will take the number given and determine which risk category they fall into. The court does have leave to take their own considerations into account at the hearing to determine the risk category. This is why it is imperative that you call our office now to speak with our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys so that your SORA hearing and risk assessment are handled properly by those who have handled many similar cases for previous clients.