Sex Offender Petition for Relief or Modification

Corrections Law §168-o says when a sex offender can ask to be removed from the registry or change his or her risk level. The way to ask is by filing a motion. After filing the motion, the sex offender is entitled to a court appointed attorney if he or she can’t afford one.

Removal: After 30 years, a level 2 sex offender who has not been designated a sexual predator, sexually violent offender or predicate sex offender, can petition the court to be relieved from all registration requirements and be removed from the registry. This petition can be made once every 2 years starting 30 years after the first registration.

Modification: A registered sex offender can petition the sentencing court or the court which made the determination regarding the level, for an order downwardly modifying his or her risk level. This petition can be made once per year. The petition should say which new level is being requested and the reasons why the change should be granted. For example, a level 3 sex offender might ask the court to change to level 2 because there have been no new sexual offenses for many years, and/or the sex offender has been in treatment, and/or the risk level is keeping the sex offender from getting a job or housing, and/or the sex offender has changed his or her life. It is helpful to speak to an attorney.

The District Attorney can also ask the court to modify the risk level when the sex offender has been convicted of a new crime or has violated a condition that the District Attorney thinks increases the risk of re-offense.

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